Arlington Heights trustees to review vision for southern gateway
Arlington Heights trustees on Monday will conduct their first formal review of a plan aimed at revitalizing what's seen as a gateway to the village.
The 50-page South Arlington Heights Road Corridor Plan outlines a vision for an area roughly between the Jane Addams Tollway and just north of Golf Road. It's home to seven hotels, a number of office buildings -- some currently empty -- and vacant land that village officials believe is primed for redevelopment.
The document, put together by the village's department of planning and community development, suggests ideas to support that process, such as liberalizing zoning restrictions to facilitate mixed use developments, making the area more pedestrian-friendly, and improving aesthetics.
Some of the recommendations have already been implemented, like installing decorative "Welcome" banners on light poles. But other suggestions could be more difficult and costlier to do, such as burying utility lines. That alone could cost anywhere between $2.5 million and $5 million.
In implementing the plan, village officials say one of the first things they would do is make zoning rules less restrictive -- particularly on the east side of Arlington Heights Road, where three developers are suggesting various residential and commercial uses. That includes the developer who has the Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59 and former Wellington banquet properties under contract; a developer who wants to build a 6,000-square-foot food court with Asian cuisine on the former Yanni's restaurant site; and Bradford Allen Real Estate, which owns the shuttered Applebee's restaurant, drive-through bank and five-floor office building on Algonquin Road.
"Arlington Heights is a village with vision," Jeff Bernstein, Bradford Allen's principal, said during a March 14 plan commission meeting. "This particular area is a perfect bookend to what has been done downtown. If this critical mass is continued, I think the village, the stakeholders, all the residents and future residents would definitely benefit from it."
Other proposed public improvements for the area are estimated to cost up to $2 million, including:
• Landscaped medians, which would reintroduce greenery in the corridor. A number of trees were removed when Arlington Heights Road was widened.
• Relocation of sidewalks 8-10 feet away from curbs to provide a safer pedestrian environment.
• 12-foot-wide crosswalks with stamped, colorized concrete at the major intersections, along with updated timing systems for pedestrians to cross.
• A new traffic signal on Arlington Heights Road north of Algonquin Road to provide a centralized main access point for future redevelopment of the District 59 property.
Funding sources could include general village funds, tax increment financing, or a special service area where property owners pay an additional tax over a 10-year period.
The village board meeting begins at 8:15 p.m. Monday on the third floor of village hall, 33 S. Arlington Heights Road.