Arlington Heights allows for restaurants, offices, apartments, more at International Plaza

  • Changes to a redevelopment plan approved by the Arlington Heights village board Monday call for the International Plaza Shopping Center on Golf Road to host a mix of uses, from senior housing to medical offices.

    Changes to a redevelopment plan approved by the Arlington Heights village board Monday call for the International Plaza Shopping Center on Golf Road to host a mix of uses, from senior housing to medical offices. Daily Herald File Photo 2013

 
 
Updated 3/2/2021 7:04 AM

Arlington Heights trustees Monday made changes to long dormant redevelopment plans that could pave the way to senior housing, among a variety of other uses, at International Plaza on Golf Road.

At the recommendation of the village staff, the village board unanimously approved revisions to a future land use map that calls for 18 acres of land near Golf and Arlington Heights roads -- including the 13-acre shopping center -- to be developed with mixed uses, instead of solely commercial spaces.

 

The plan changes would allow for a variety of developments, such as senior housing, rental apartments, offices including medical offices, restaurants and stores, according to Charles Witherington-Perkins, the village's director of planning and community development.

It would also provide more flexibility in attracting and working with developers, Perkins said.

Last summer, Ryan Companies presented conceptual plans for a three-story, 188-unit senior living community on the rear eight acres of the shopping center site, with about half the apartments being independent living and the rest a mix of assisted living and memory care.

Perkins told village trustees during a meeting held virtually Monday night the Ryan plan is on hold while the developer evaluates the marketplace, and village officials continue discussions on a concept beyond what Ryan presented.

That could include as many as 225 apartments on the shopping center site, commercial uses such as restaurants fronting Golf and Arlington Heights roads, and medical offices, village officials said during an earlier review of plans in January.

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Officials have been eyeing the 1980s-era shopping center for a facelift for nearly two decades, when they set up a 35-acre tax increment financing district in 2002. Under that financing mechanism, property taxes above a certain point are funneled into economic development efforts, instead of local governments like schools and parks.

But redevelopment in Arlington Heights' TIF 4 has been stalled amid lawsuits and economic recession.

On Monday night, the co-owner of Golden Brunch diner, across Golf Road from the shopping plaza, praised village officials for pushing redevelopment efforts.

"Staff has been working the last probably 15 to 20 years with the plaza," said Argie Karafotias. "And I just want to say a big thank you to all of you."

The village board's plan revisions follow review in January and February by the redevelopment commission, which is made up of members of the plan commission, and a joint review board, composed of representatives of taxing districts in TIF 4.

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