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Economic Development

Communities need to constantly evolve in order to stay relevant and attractive to prospective residents. To prosper, they need to offer places for people to shop, be employed, entertain themselves, enjoy nature and recreational activities and educate themselves and their children.

The leadership of Palatine understands this well and constantly works to stay relevant and to offer its residents and those of nearby communities a plethora of services and opportunities.

Accordingly, a number of new businesses and facilities have opened or relocated within Palatine over the past year, said Mike Jacobs, Deputy Village Manager.

For instance, the southeast corner of the intersection of Quentin Road and Northwest Highway now boasts a new barbeque restaurant Chicago Culinary Kitchen, which offers a restaurant, space for private events and a bustling catering business.

At the corner of Dundee and Rand roads a three-building complex is expected to open before the end of 2017. One building will feature a drive-through Panera restaurant. Another will become home to an American Mattress store. The third building is available, Jacobs said.

Slightly north of that new complex, on Northwest Highway, at the site that held Teddy’s Liquors for many years, an O’Reilly Auto Parts store will open soon.

Further north, just east of Grossinger Hyundai on Lake-Cook Road, two commercial out-lots are being developed. It has been announced that a Starbucks will take one of those spots, but the other remains available for another venture that likely would appeal to prospective car shoppers and others passing by.

Further south along Rand Road, just south of the Park Place Shopping Center, a long-shuttered gas station will be replaced with a free-standing Children’s Land Learning Center later in 2018.

In addition, several businesses opened in the Deer Grove Crossing Shopping Center, located at Dundee and Rand roads. An Aldi grocery store opened in 2016 in the former Staples location at 761 E. Dundee Road in the Deer Grove Crossing Shopping Center and Hobby Lobby also relocated there, moving from the Palatine Plaza Shopping Center on Northwest Highway. Therefore, Jacobs noted, the village is currently searching for a replacement to take the space that Hobby Lobby vacated at Palatine Plaza.

In downtown Palatine, Pan American Bank & Trust will soon occupy the old Smith Street Station space adjacent to Durty Nellie’s. The bank will modify the parking lot to add a single drive-through lane.

Elsewhere in downtown, popular custom floral and home goods boutique, Harrington Manor, at 16 S. Bothwell Street, has expanded to a second nearby structure at 25 W. Palatine Road and now offers twice the custom goods to its loyal following.

In addition, the Lake Zurich-based, premium soft-serve ice cream and Hawaiian Shaved Ice My Flavor It! Place, has opened its third store at 117 W. Slade Street.

Central Palatine has also earned a new Starbucks café over the past year. It was constructed across the street from Ahlgrim’s Funeral Home on Northwest Highway, on the site of a longtime lampshade store.

At the southern end of the village, Harper College has been busy improving its facilities.

It celebrated the reopening of one of its six original buildings – Building D – last August after a renovation transformed the 1969-era structure into a state-of-the-art learning environment. The 18-month, $44.8 million renovation was funded by capital referendum dollars approved by District 512 residents.

The renovation added natural light to every classroom, modernized classrooms and improved acoustics. The renovated facility also features more collaborative study space, a lab for English as a Second Language and World Language and a lab for Harper’s American Sign Language and Interpreter Training programs.

The centerpiece of the building is a two-story glass rotunda (known as the Beaubien Family Rotunda) that creates an inviting place for students to meet, study and learn. Dee Beaubien is a member of Harper College’s Educational Foundation Board.

Then, this April, Harper held a groundbreaking to kick off the transformation of its Wellness and Sports Center (Building M) into a leading community health and recreation center.

The $38 million renovation of the outdated, 38-year-old facility is the result of a partnership with the Palatine Park District and Northwest Community Healthcare. The new facility is expected to reopen for the fall 2018 semester.

Under the partnerships, the park district will contribute $9 million toward the renovation, pay a share of the building’s operating costs, operate the indoor pool and provide adult fitness and recreation programs. Northwest Community Healthcare will lease 10,000 square feet of the space to provide health care services to students, staff and the community.

Harper College President Dr. Ken Ender believes the Building M partnership will serve as a new model for local government. “At the end of the day, what we have created together is something we never could have done by ourselves,” he said. “We’re showing our educational community and the taxpayers what the future of public institutions looks like, not only in this district and state, but across the country.”

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