Gas station proposed for former Garden Fresh Plaza site in Wheeling

A gas station, a convenience store, a car wash, two drive-through restaurants and a liquor store have been proposed for land in Wheeling where a shopping center once stood.

The anchor for the roughly 4-acre site at northeast corner of Hintz and Old Buffalo Grove roads would be a Gas N Wash operation.

The Tahoe Automotive service station that now operates at the corner would be razed, plans show.

The vacant land around Tahoe Automotive used to be the Garden Fresh Plaza. A supermarket, a liquor store, a laundromat and other businesses operated there through the years, but the property deteriorated and the buildings were demolished late last year before the property was put up for sale.

Between 25 and 30 Gas N Wash stores operate in Illinois, most in the southwest suburbs, said Christian Kalischefski of the WT Group, a Hoffman Estates engineering firm working on the project. One is being built in North suburban Green Oaks, he said.

"We're trying to move north," Kalischefski said during a presentation to the village board last week.

When it came time for board members to ask questions and make comments, Trustee Mary Krueger said she's concerned about noise from the station bothering neighbors.

The property adjoins the Mallard Lake Apartments complex and is across Old Buffalo Grove Road from the Brook Run Apartment complex in Arlington Heights, and single-family homes are across Hintz Road to the south.

But Krueger said she was pleased by a plan to install fencing and natural landscaping to reduce the amount of noise that would reach those developments.

Trustee Jim Ruffatto noted gas stations in Wheeling aren't allowed to sell liquor. Kalischefski said the gas station and liquor store would have separate entrances and wouldn't be connected, but Ruffato wasn't placated.

"I don't see a difference," he said.

Ruffatto also was concerned about video gambling at the convenience store and how the station's lighting would affect nearby residents.

"It seems to me to be a rather intense use," Ruffato said.

Trustee Dave Vogel said he's concerned the proposed operation meets the state definition of a truck stop because of its size and the plan to sell diesel fuel.

Trustee Joe Vito questioned whether enough motorists use Hintz Road to warrant such a large retail development.

"I just don't want it to fail," he said.

After the roughly 45-minute presentation and discussion, a divided board informally gave Gas N Wash a go-ahead for the project. Village President Pat Horcher and four trustees indicated they liked the project while Ruffatto and Vogel voted against it.

Further review by village committees and the board is needed.

Wheeling to raze vacant shopping center on Hintz Road

'A long time coming': An eyesore for years, Garden Fresh Plaza in Wheeling demolished

  A longtime eyesore, a shopping center near the corner of Hintz and Old Buffalo Grove roads in Wheeling was demolished late last year. A Gas N Wash operation has been proposed for the site. Russell Lissau/, 2022
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