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contentsWarrenville IL Chamberads

One Man, One City to Do It All

Warrenville has made a reputation for itself as a great city with a variety of options economically and socially, both for now, and to a greater degree, in the booming future Warrenville has prepared decades to embrace.

One Man

Julius Warren's first visit to the city that now bears his name was in July 1833 when he arrived in Illinois from New York and staked out his claim along the DuPage River. When he permanently settled here in 1834, the 24-year-old Julius Warren had matured into a genial man, socially inclined with a keen sense of humor, and became known as “Colonel” Warren. Before the stagecoach line was established he carried the mail in a lumber wagon to and from Chicago. As one of three state legislature appointees in 1837, he helped survey and locate the Chicago and Fox River Turnpike.

Within four short years of his arrival, Warren had developed his claim into a community. Early on he operated a sawmill, then built a boarding house, with a school room on the second floor, to accommodate the families of the logrollers working at the mill. Laying out land into lot-sized parcels, he promoted the sale of homesites. In 1838, Warren added innkeeping to his list of enterprises, and when Warrenville was granted a post office that same year, none other than Colonel Warren was appointed its postmaster.

For many years Julius Warren happily took center stage of the community he so zealously developed — from parade marshal to census taker to village spokesman, involved in almost all facets of village life and activities except those related to the church.

The city did not develop into one as easily as one might expect from the incredible efforts of its name sake. It took from 1927 until 1967, after six failed attempts, for the city of 4,000 to become incorporated into the form of government it now has. At that time, Warrenville’s necessity for growing may have seemed minimal; its population had plenty of room to spread out. Activity like mining the limestone quarry could not sustain the city indefinitely, and city leaders and developers had to conceive a new source of growth.

Cantera provided the city with that necessary growth. The quarry would eventually have lost its viability, leaving a massive area of stripped land valued at around $8 million. Through some ingenious planning and the work of faithful developers, such as BP America, the land's value currently rates at well over $400 million, with luxury apartments, a large movie theater, and even a Super Target to accommodate the growing needs of the community, all a short distance from Interstate 88 and within the research and development corridor.

TIF district funding played a major role in getting the project rolling and has also enhanced the city as a whole. Funds from special TIF district taxes, food and beverage taxes, hotel and motel taxes, and the like, have all helped the city with around $30 million worth of revenue otherwise totally unavailable to the city. Said funds go toward infrastructure, besides giving the downtown some upgrading, enhancing the library, and better preserving the beauty of the parks.

With so much going on to grow the economy, Warrenville might seem like it must have grown in population immensely over the last few decades. It certainly has grown, but its population of under 14,000 people seems like a far less exponential growth than the highly developed Cantera area suggests. Hence, Warrenville has the unique combination of great economic opportunity coupled with small-town charm to make for a more enjoyable community.

Boasting a median household income right around 50 percent over the U.S. average, Warrenville residents are not at a loss for economic opportunity. Houses averaging around $240,000 make living in Warrenville very much affordable, as well. As Daniel M. Czuba of Daniel and Associates Real Estate relates, residents also look forward to such area amenities as Cantigny Golf, Arrowhead Golf Course/Country Club, bike paths, walking trails, and forest preserves. Even with all of the activity in Warrenville, some look to the area for its ample and welcoming retirement opportunities. For example, Monarch Landing accommodates active lifestyles and an appreciation for the natural resources in and around Warrenville like few other facilities can.

From its inception, Warrenville relied upon the ability of extraordinary individuals such as its five mayors: Bill Stafford, John Hudetz, Rich Volkmer, Vivian Lund and David Brummel, to accomplish much, and going into its future, it will assuredly rely on the extraordinary individuals native to and moving into the area. d

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