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Economic Development

Hoffman Estates enjoyed a banner year in 2015 as more than a dozen new commercial and industrial projects were announced with initial groundwork completed. In most cases construction is now underway and the new enterprises are expected to open throughout 2016, noted Kevin Kramer, economic development director for Hoffman Estates,

“We will be attending many grand openings, but we may not have as many big announcements during 2016,” he said, “but that is OK because that just means that the market is balancing out.”

For instance, Ala Carte Entertainment purchased two vacant restaurants on the southeast corner of Barrington and Higgins Roads and, after renovation, opened a Moretti’s Ristorante and Pizzeria and a Sweet Caroline’s Crab-n-Que in 2015 on the long-vacant former sites of a Max and Erma’s and a Lone Star, respectively. Ala Carte also purchased the former TGI Fridays, which became available, and plans to open a third restaurant on the site. Coincidentally, the firm’s owner, the Hoffmann family, enjoys the similarity between their last name and the name of the village.

Elsewhere in the village, interest in fast food restaurants has also been hot. Two new McDonald’s restaurants will be under construction in Hoffman Estates in 2016 – one at the Barrington Square Mall (replacing an existing McDonald’s) and the other is on the site of an old brick two-story building along Roselle Road between Higgins and Golf roads.

Not far from there a Wendy’s restaurant is also being transformed to conform to the new corporate image for that chain, and on the southeast corner of Barrington and Higgins roads, a new Burger King has recently opened.

A combination of Culver’s restaurant with a drive-thru and a Mobil gas station is under construction near the intersection of Route 59 and I-90, finally bringing that} area of town two much-desired facilities – a gas station and a fast food restaurant, Kramer said. It should be open by late summer 2016.

There is also news on the retail front. Duluth Trading Company is building its first Illinois store next to Cabela’s in the 59/90 entertainment district. Formerly a company that sold exclusively via catalog, Duluth Trading is in the process of expanding and is expected to bring in customers from a large radius.

Sugarjones, which specializes in cupcakes, cookies and wedding cakes, opened its door in the Poplar Creek Shopping Center near 59/90 in January, and a new three-unit strip out-lot center that will be anchored by Starbucks is also under construction nearby.

On the entertainment front, Hoffman Estates will soon become home to a Main Event family entertainment center featuring laser tag, bowling, arcade games, a high ropes course, food and drink. Main Event caters to customers who are older than the Chuckie Cheese audience and younger than the Dave and Buster’s audience, a true fun family experience, Kramer noted.

“We envision families making a day of it by coming out in the morning and spending time at Main Event, followed by a show or event like Sesame Street Live at the Sears Centre in the afternoon and then finishing up with dinner at an area restaurant,” he said.

In order to promote all of the businesses in the 59/90 corridor, Hoffman Estates has re-designed its website, Kramer said, taking a regional approach to promoting the entire area, regardless of town borders “because residents don’t see boundaries the way we do in village government.”

There has also been news with regard to corporate/industrial users. Adesa Auto Auction, the second-largest wholesale auto auction company in the United States, has purchased 65 acres west of Prairie Stone Business Park. It will soon hold weekly auto auctions for car dealers and rental companies. The auctions will not be open to the public but it is hoped that this enterprise will draw people from all over the Midwest to stay in area hotels and patronize local restaurants.

In addition, TRUMPF, a German firm that manufactures lasers used in metal cutting, has purchased five acres on which they plan to construct a technology center and showroom. They chose the site because of its I-90 visibility and its close proximity to O’Hare International Airport and two of its primary competitors.

I-90 is contributing to Hoffman Estates’ good news in other ways, as well. The multi-year project to widen the Illinois tollway from the Kennedy Expressway to Elgin is well underway with the new outer lanes complete and work beginning on the inside lanes, including the extra wide innermost lane and shoulder that will accommodate PACE transit buses, said Michael Hankey, director of transportation and engineering for Hoffman Estates.

“The inner lanes and shoulders are also wider so that if a decision is ever made to install rail on I-90, there will be space for it,” he said.

Plans call for the widening to be largely complete by the end of 2016, as will work on the expanded interchange at Barrington Road and the Park & Ride facilities there for commuters using the buses. New transit stops for express buses are being built along I-90 for trips to O’Hare and the CTA Blue Line in Rosemont. There will even be a pedestrian overpass of I-90, allowing drivers to park in a PACE lot on the north side of the Tollway near the Hilton Garden Inn and walk across the pedestrian bridge to catch a bus heading toward Chicago on the south side.

Simultaneously, Barrington Road is being widened from Central Road to Hassel Road, with enhanced sidewalks and bicycle paths being constructed, Hankey said.

New residential development is also underway once again in Hoffman Estates. K. Hovnanian is completing 17 single-family homes on the north side of town in a subdivision called Bradwell Estates. That community is expected to be built-out by the end of 2016.

Residential construction is also underway on the old 37-acre Bergman farm at Ela and Algonquin Roads. M/I Homes of Naperville is building 81 single family homes at Bergman Pointe and models are open with the first phase currently under construction.

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