Elk Grove Village chooses Mount Prospect builder to develop Arlington Heights-Higgins corner

Elk Grove Village officials have chosen Mount Prospect-based Wingspan Development Group as the builder of a mixed-use development to transform the town's oldest shopping center at the village's northern gateway.

Wingspan's redevelopment proposal for the 10-acre Elk Grove Woods Plaza on the southeast corner of Arlington Heights and Higgins roads was one of four concepts unveiled during a public open house in November.

Mayor Craig Johnson said about 80% of the comments received at the open house and online were favorable to the Wingspan plan, and that's the one the village board picked.

The developer - which built Elk Grove's public works garages and completed several school renovations throughout the suburbs - has proposed Elk Woods Lofts, a 5-story, 267-unit apartment building with 11,000 square feet of retail space along Arlington Heights Road, and Elk Woods Townhomes, 16 three-story townhouses with attached garages.

A single-story, 25,855-square-foot retail building with clock tower would be built at the corner - where it's proposed the popular Tensuke Market and Jarosch Bakery would relocate. A single-story, 21,930-square-foot retail building would be built along Higgins, where 7 Mile Cycles and other retailers would relocate.

The developer also has suggested a possible pedestrian overpass to Busse Woods, monument signage and plaza gathering space.

Johnson said Wingspan's proposal best captured the village's "gateway" vision while suggesting other innovative features worth exploring.

"We have a good history with them. They've never let us down on any project they've done in Elk Grove, and some of those were pretty good-sized projects," Johnson said.

Over the next couple of months, the developer will modify its designs for the site and buildings before another public open house is held, likely in March, Johnson said.

Then the project would go before the plan commission for a public hearing before coming back to the village board for final approval.

A redevelopment agreement and tax-increment financing - where some taxes that normally would go to local taxing bodies will help fund redevelopment efforts instead - also are expected to be part of the mix.

The village purchased the existing shopping center, former Elk Grove Bowl, bank, gas station and Rose Garden Cafe so that it had complete control of the entryway corner to town. In a separate deal, the village conveyed the old Sweet Baby Ray's site at 800 E. Higgins Road to the Rose Garden owners in exchange for agreeing to cancel their lease at the shopping center early.

Renovations are now underway at the new Rose Garden ahead of a planned April opening, Johnson said.

Construction on Wingspan's retail buildings could start as early as the end of this year, with the aim to relocate the current tenants by the end of 2024. Then, the existing strip building would be torn down to make way for the apartments and townhouses. It would all be complete by November 2026.

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