Arlington Heights' next hot spot for development could be land near tollway

  • Arlington Heights wants to develop the southern entrance to its village, which has a half dozen sites looking to sell.

      Arlington Heights wants to develop the southern entrance to its village, which has a half dozen sites looking to sell. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Arlington Heights corridor

    Graphic: Arlington Heights corridor (click image to open)

 
 
Updated 9/15/2017 8:16 AM

The southern corridor leading into downtown Arlington Heights could be the next hot spot for development in the village.

At least 40 acres along Arlington Heights Road between the Jane Addams Tollway and north of Golf Road is on the market, a major reason the village is seeking ways to prime the properties for redevelopment projects. The corridor has vacant land and empty buildings mixed with a majority of the village's hotels.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Additionally, a 2015 comprehensive plan calls for revitalizing and creating an identity for main corridors in the village, including Arlington Heights Road.

A potential tactic for stoking progress and sprucing up the southern corridor? The village could create a tax increment financing district, or TIF, the economic development tool that allows new property tax revenue generated from development to be put in a fund for improving the area for up to 23 years. Schools, park districts and other taxing bodies continue receiving tax revenue at levels prior to the new development.

The corridor is within the boundaries of Elk Grove Township District 59 and Northwest Suburban High School District 214.

Other possible funding sources include state or federal grants, general fund tax dollars or a special service area tax -- where property owners in the area pay for projects over a 10-year period.

The village's planning and community development department talked to neighboring property owners and developers about preliminary plans Wednesday at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel on Algonquin Road. The meeting didn't include specifics -- because the village board would need to approve any action -- but officials laid out a timeline and broad vision for the area.

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"We want to encourage mixed-use development that's flexible to the demands of the market and the ideas developers have for the area," said Bill Enright, deputy director for planning and development.

This could mean "liberalizing" the zoning restrictions in the corridor to introduce new types of development, particularly residential properties, Enright said.

Property owners of five sites on the east side of Arlington Heights Road want to sell or redevelop land, and Elk Grove Township is selling its headquarters on the west side.

Potential beautification projects for the area include branded signage, new sidewalks and landscaped islands in the median, and traffic lights to help funnel traffic to businesses.

The village plans to develop a corridor plan to be introduced to the plan commission and village trustees by spring 2018, with implementation starting later in the year.

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