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Business and Economic Development

Known as a regional industrial center and a tight-knit community of residents, the Village of Carol Stream is home to more than 900 businesses and industries, including several Fortune 500 companies. The dynamic community boasts amenities including a bustling business-friendly environment, much sought-after traditional neighborhoods with tree-lined streets, modern schools, a large Gold Medal award-winning park system, a full-service library and a community of churches serving many religious denominations.

With a firm foundation of past success and an eye to the future, the village’s residents, businesses and local leaders are committed to protecting and enhancing these assets through investment, planning, partnerships and projects.

The Village of Carol Stream is a vital part of the Chicago metropolitan region and a leader among west suburban DuPage County communities.

The community is ranked among the 100 Safest Cities in the United States, according to the 2016 Neighborhood Scout risk data analysis report, and last year was cited for its Top Traffic Safety Program by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Carol Stream was named a Top 10 Suburb for Regional Sustainability (2008-2015) by the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus, and this year the Village of DuPage County’s Klein Creek Flood Mitigation project was recognized by the American Public Works Association with their Storm Water Project of the Year award.

The village has been labeled a “hidden gem” by Money Magazine and included in their 2011 list of the 100 Best Places to live in the nation – ranking as the 49th best small town in the nation.

“The business community thrives in Carol Stream,” said Luanne Newman, executive director of the Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce. She cited the plethora of new and expanding business endeavors as well as solid community support and benefits: “In lieu of a traditional Main Street hub, the community boasts a beautifully developed Town Center recreational hub as well as series of well-planned business and retail centers, with light industrial businesses and industries situated along the village’s eastern-most sector.”

Carol Stream is a great place to live, work and do business, Newman noted; many Chamber member business owners and employees live in and are raising their families in Carol Stream. “Carol Stream residents are proud of the community’s history, today’s vibrant business model and array of amenities. They identify not only with the Village of Carol Stream, but also with individual neighborhoods, seeing each as offering a distinct character and type of living.”

With deep community roots, many local business and industry leaders also are integrally involved in community life through involvement in the Chamber of Commerce, community service organizations and civic participation.

“Whether it’s lending expertise on a committee, taking part in a holiday celebration or parade, sponsoring summertime music concerts at the Town Center, lending a hand at the annual community-wide food drive to restock food pantry shelves or participating in holiday giving programs, the business and industrial community plays a vibrant role Carol Stream community life,” Newman said.

Prime Business Location

The village’s proximity to I-355, I-88, O’Hare International Airport and the DuPage County Airport make it an attractive site for businesses looking to expand or relocate.

Seven major roads traverse the village, with North Avenue close to the center of town and bisecting a majority of the industrial area. North Avenue runs east into Chicago and westward across the state. Army Trail Road, St. Charles Road and Geneva Road are other major east-west transit routes. Running north-south are County Farm, Gary Avenue and Schmale Road.

Carol Stream residents and businesses are served by a comprehensive street network with a mix of arterial, collector and residential or local streets. The network generally prioritizes motorists and allows for easy mobility by car and truck at most hours of the day. This prioritization has supported much of the village’s industrial area, which relies on the regional interstate transportation network.

Village residents and business professionals who regularly travel the 35 miles to Chicago’s Loop for business or cultural activities are only a 40-minute commute via the Wheaton, Bartlett or Hanover Park Metra commuter train stations. The RTA’s Suburban PACE transportation system provides convenient shuttle service to area residents commuting to local train stations, shopping centers, colleges and hospitals. Local commuters will find an easy toll-free access to I-290 (Eisenhower Expy.) by traveling east on North Avenue or Army Trail Road to I-355 North.

The Elgin-O’Hare Expressway (Illinois Route 390) provides convenient commuter access to the northwest suburbs, reached by traveling north on Gary Avenue past Lake Street. Carol Stream residents and businesses this year celebrate completion of the state’s Elgin-O’Hare Western Access Project, offering opportunities for enhanced economic development and travel performance throughout the region, and providing new western access to busy nearby O’Hare International Airport.

A Vision Combining Residential and Business Community

Founder and original developer Jay Stream’s vision is intact today, as the flourishing community comprised of residential homes in the west sector mixed with light industrial business and industries in the east sector. Well-tended homes and subdivisions push the village’s western boundaries, and business and industry flourish to the east. Among some of the newest businesses to call Carol Stream home are:

• Pilot Auto & Truck Fueling Facility, including Moe’s Southwest Grill, Cinnabon, and a convenience store, North Avenue

• Caputo’s, a 6,000-square-foot out lot building, Schmale Road

• Jet Brite Car Wash, Gary Avenue

• O’Reilly Auto Parts, County Farm Road

New industrial development and businesses include:

• CoreCentric Solutions, a 350,000-square-foot appliance parts servicing and re-manufacturing facility, North Avenue

• Mercedes Benz Parts & Distribution Center’s 84,000-square-foot addition, Mercedes Drive

• Wayfair, 188,000-square-foot home furnishings and décor warehouse and distribution center, Kimberly Drive

• Devanco Foods, a 93,000-square-foot meat processing, packaging and warehouse facility, Mission Street

Also new this year is a recently approved comprehensive plan for the Village of Carol Stream that conveys a long-term vision for the community and guides for future development and redevelopment. Elements of the plan include land use, transportation and the natural environment.

The village continues to invest in the future as evidenced by recently completed capital improvement projects including two major construction and rehabilitation projects along the main Lies Road corridor, and the addition of pedestrian pathways along the West Branch DuPage River Trail, the Lies Road extension from Gary to Schmale Avenue, and the Kuhn Road extension from Lies to Army Trail Road. Other investments include 8.5 miles of pavement repairs and 47 total street rehab projects totaling $4.5 million in roadway system investments.

The Carol Stream Municipal Center, home of Carol Stream village government operations since 1981, will undergo complete remodeling and upgrades this year to meet current and future village service and staffing needs. With an anticipated fall 2017 completion date, project investment is expected to total between $13.1 and $15.5 million.

Service and communication enhancements this year will include the rollout of a new building permit and development software program to assist in the processing and tracking of home/building improvement project and the addition of new entryway signs along eight major highway corridors.

A Firm Foundation For Success

The village has come a long way since Jay Stream built his first homes and petitioned the State of Illinois to incorporate as an Illinois municipality. Incorporated 57 years ago, the village has grown to include more than 40,000 residents today, and offers a wide variety of housing types including luxury estate homes, a mix of single-family homes, condominiums, townhomes and more than 4,000 apartments. Aided by an active historical society, Carol Stream makes an effort to preserve historical assets, its unique story and key historical sites.

Cited in the 1970s by USA Today, Carol Stream was recognized nationally for its rapid growth, with developers donating more than $17 million in impact fees and 280 acres of land for fire stations, parks, schools and other public improvements and infrastructure.

Along with major housing booms in the 1980s and 1990s, significant industrial and commercial development has flourished. Overall 29 industrial subdivisions tallying 16 million square feet of building space and 18 shopping centers were developed in Carol Stream. Financial investment, the addition of a substantial number of quality jobs, and increasing retail opportunity followed, with the Illinois Department of Employment Security listing Carol Stream first in annual job growth from 1994-1995 and again from 1996-1997.

In 2009, the village celebrated its 50th anniversary since incorporation and marked with fanfare the realization of Jay Stream’s early vision for a residential community with diverse housing options stretching westward from Gary Avenue toward Fair Oaks Road and complemented by an industrial sector east of Gary populated with light industry, warehousing and commercial and retail areas.

On The Financial Front

The village is one of only a few Illinois communities not to levy a municipal property tax.

Details of a newly approved 2016-17 village budget were announced by Mayor Frank Saverino at the annual May State of the Village presentation to the Chamber of Commerce.

Carol Stream Chamber Keeps Members At Competitive Best

The Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce is one of the more progressive Chambers in the DuPage County region with an engaged membership, dedicated to keeping members at their competitive best. Networking opportunities, monthly membership luncheons featuring prominent speakers of interest, newsletters and participation in the Five Star Business & Health Expo help encourage business success and advances the economic well-being of the greater Carol Stream area.

The Village of Carol Stream and the Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce continue to carry out Jay Stream’s vision of making the village a great place to live, work and raise a family.

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