Multiple 'high-end' businesses planned for Busse Farm, Elk Grove mayor says

Busse Farm, the largest undeveloped parcel of land in the O'Hare market, could soon be home to a multimillion dollar commercial development, Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson announced Tuesday.

The long-vacant, 70-acre site - roughly bounded by Higgins Road, Lively Boulevard, Oakton Street and Stanley Street - was famously a proposed location for a new Chicago Bears stadium during negotiations in 1975 and 1998. Other proposals for the large tract of land often come and go.

But it now appears the Busse family, developers and village officials are closer to a deal, with Johnson hinting in his annual State of the Village address that an announcement is expected in the coming months.

"Busse Farm is not going to be a farm for much longer," Johnson said Tuesday afternoon during his speech at a GOA Regional Business Association luncheon. "When it gets developed, that will become an economic catalyst."

In an interview after the speech, the mayor revealed the development would include multiple "high-end" businesses, including several "big users." The site would not include any retail or residential users.

In addition to the 70-acre farm, the development is proposed to include another 15 acres of land that currently contains houses and businesses on Stanley Street and Elk Grove Village Fire Station 8 at 1000 Oakton St.

The farm land is unincorporated, but is entirely surrounded by Elk Grove Village property, and would be annexed into the village and be served by its water and sewer services once development occurs, Johnson said.

The mayor spent most of his speech detailing the Elk Grove 2025 capital works plan - the largest public improvement project in village history previously announced in February. It proposes more than $110 million worth of projects, including new and renovated village buildings, flood mitigation, street rehab and aesthetic improvements.

Construction will begin this summer on a renovated public works garage and new salt dome at 1635 Biesterfield Road.

Next year, a new fire station will be built to replace the 40-year-old Fire Station 10 at 676 Meacham Road.

On the east side of town, Station 8 on Oakton - which will become part of the Busse Farm development - and Station 9 at 1655 Greenleaf Ave. will be closed and their operations consolidated into a new station somewhere along the Busse Road corridor by 2020.

Johnson said the Meacham and Greenleaf stations are outdated, while the 20-year-old Oakton station has "operational deficiencies" that weren't taken into account before - for which he said he would accept responsibility.

While Elk Grove will go from four stations to three, there won't be any reduction in manpower or equipment, Johnson said.

Last week, officials revealed plans for a land swap of the village's public works facility at 600 Landmeier Road and Elk Grove Township's property at 711 Chelmsford Lane. The township will consolidate its operations into the Landmeier building, while the village will use proceeds of a sale of the Chelmsford building to help fund a new public works facility at a still-undisclosed location.

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  During his annual State of the Village address on Tuesday, Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson discusses the consolidation of Fire Stations 8 and 9 into a new station to be built somewhere along the Busse Road corridor. Bob Chwedyk/
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