The Arboretum of South Barrington sold to Hoffman Estates-based Heidner Properties

The Arboretum of South Barrington, the 484,000-square-foot open air shopping center at Route 59 and Higgins Road, has been sold to Hoffman Estates-based Heidner Properties, Inc.

"Heidner Properties is proud to have added The Arboretum of South Barrington to our portfolio," Barrington Hills resident Rick Heidner, president of Heidner Properties, said in an announcement of the purchase Thursday. "The Arboretum will be our flagship property, and we are currently developing plans to enhance the already fantastic mix of dining, entertainment and retail."

The Arboretum is home to restaurants and retailers including Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, The Hampton Social, Cooper's Hawk Winery, DSW, LL Bean, Chico's, Sephora and Pinstripes. The purchase was announced a day before the opening of Star Cinema Grill, a 38,000-square-foot movie theater that replaces the former iPic Theaters.

"I'm excited," South Barrington Mayor Paula McCombie said Thursday. "I think that the new owner has got some very unique ideas."

"We have some empty spaces at the Arboretum, and I'm hoping that the new ideas are going to bring in more tenants for those open brick and mortar spaces that we have vacant," she added.

McCombie said the Arboretum is important to the village, because it generates revenues that help keep the village's property taxes among the lowest in Cook County.

"It's really nice to have a local resident of the town next to (South Barrington) that is involved with our shopping center. I'm happy about that," she added.

Heidner said his plans include aesthetic upgrades, new and exclusive retail options, and an expansion of community programming.

"The Heidner family loves the Halloween and Christmas holidays, and the holiday plans will be unlike anything offered in the metropolitan area," the company's announcement states. "They view the Arboretum as a passion, not just an investment, and (are) committed to the long-term viability of this shopping center."

Shopping center management also welcomed the acquisition Thursday.

"To now be both locally-owned and locally-managed, my dedicated management team and I are delighted by the acquisition and to work with Heidner Properties to help realize their vision for The Arboretum of South Barrington." Cory Born, the shopping center's general manager, said in the announcement.

Heidner Properties, Inc. also owns and manages more than 260 properties in 13 states and is the majority stakeholder in the Field of Dreams in Iowa, along with Chicago White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas.

Heidner also is the developer of the Ricky Rockets fuel centers, which is opening its newest location soon in Buffalo Grove.

The company also owns the Arlington Market shopping center in Arlington Heights.

Heidner also owns Hoffman Estates-based Gold Rush Gaming, which operates video gambling terminals at more than 650 locations statewide. In 2019, his plans for a horse racing track and casino in the Southwest suburbs were blocked when Gov. J.B. Pritzker halted the sale state land for the development. The move came after Heidner's name surfaced in an FBI search warrant related to the corruption probe of Democratic state Sen. Martin Sandoval.

Heidner denied any wrongdoing, and in June 2020, the U.S. attorney's office issued a letter stating that he was not a target of the investigation.

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