Signs of what’s to come: Downtown Elgin promoting influx of new businesses

Downtown Elgin is showing signs of business growth. Literally.

A half dozen previously empty storefronts now have “Coming Soon to Downtown Elgin” signs posted in an effort to keep residents and passersby apprised of new businesses preparing to open in the next few months.

Downtown Neighborhood Association Executive Director Jennifer Fukala says businesses always are coming and going, but to have so much happening at one time is exciting.

“Things like this only come along so often and it’s really special,” Fukala said. “We’ve been talking for a long time about when are we reaching the tipping point in downtown Elgin and this is one of those indicators that we’re there.”

DNA knows no one likes looking at empty storefronts, so the group came up with the “Coming Soon” signs to let the community know there’s something on the horizon.

“We want people to know something’s happening and to help build excitement for these new businesses,” she said. “It’s also a way for us to expand our branding.”

The signs feature DNA’s new logo, which mimics elements of Elgin’s cityscape. The nonprofit organization works to support downtown businesses and advance economic development through a variety of marketing and special events programming like the Downtown Elgin Market.

  Tarek Gamad recently held a grand opening for MotoMax PowerSports in downtown Elgin. His is among six new businesses opening or planning to open downtown over the next few months. Rick West/

The surge of new businesses includes MotoMax PowerSports, which opened last week at 227 DuPage St. The business sells high-quality used motorcycles and powersports vehicles from brands such as Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, BMW, Can-Am, Ducati, and more.

Other new businesses on the horizon are:

• Shawarma Stop at 11 Douglas Ave.

• The Yoga Center at 166 Highland Ave.

• Royal Plant Care at 54 National St.

• Churros y Chocolate at 66 S. Grove Ave.

• High Haven Dispensary at 15 Clocktower Plaza

A pair of existing businesses also have expanded operations. Elgin Community Bikes has moved to 69 Riverside Drive to double its available space. ETC coworking still is at 11 Douglas Ave., but has expanded into an empty adjoining space.

All of this is in addition to a much-anticipated move by Side Street Studio Arts to a new home at 62 S. Grove Ave., a newly redesigned DuPage Court and The Courtyard at 40, which will bring 40 new apartments and 4,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space to the corner of Spring Street and DuPage Court.

  Shawarma Stop soon will open in downtown Elgin in the spot last occupied by Moni’s Soulfood Fiesta on Douglas Avenue. Rick West/

Fukala said the downtown area has about eight occupancy-ready storefronts available now after the new business openings. While she couldn’t give any details, she alluded to there being more new business announcements soon.

“It’s an exciting time,” she said. “To have all these things converging is a lot more impactful than things happening one at a time so it’s easier for people to see it and feel it.”

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