Villages Turning to Business Parks for Revenue Stimulating Economy Behind Move to Build

By Letcher, LaTanya S. | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 21, 2001 | Go to article overview

Villages Turning to Business Parks for Revenue Stimulating Economy Behind Move to Build


Letcher, LaTanya S., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: LaTanya S. Letcher Daily Herald Staff Writer

The land is oddly flat, like mammoth steamrollers pounded down the dirt and then disappeared. The 650-plus acres look like an unfinished soccer field, large and mostly empty.

But when the Brewster Creek Business Park at West Bartlett and Stearns roads in Bartlett is finished years from now, it will be the undisputed champ of industrial parks in the Tri-Village area, where business parks have become the next big thing.

Brewster Creek, which is under construction, and the 41-acre Phoenix Lake in Streamwood are the two latest additions to the business park family in Bartlett, Streamwood and Hanover Park. And although the number of parks in the three towns have multiplied over the last decade, experts are saying the market still is not saturated.

Enthusiastic local experts say the timing for business parks is just right. Most land to the east is already built out, meaning developers are looking west for new opportunities. The Tri-Villages abut Schaumburg and its teeming commercial district.

Perhaps most influential, plans for an expanded O'Hare Airport include finally finishing the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway, which would create a straight shot for truck traffic between warehouses in the Tri-Villages to the air freight companies that ring the airport.

"Jobs and taxes," says Jim Plonczynski, Bartlett's community development director. "Stimulating the economy is a good reason to have an industrial park."

"The information we're getting is that the parks are pretty full to the east of us and there is a market for additional development in this area, especially in DuPage County," Plonczynski added.

Business parks are expected to breathe new life and jobs into an area without bringing additional residents who demand services, he added.

"It improves the tax base in a community without impacting the services," Plonczynski said.

Possibly no town in the Northwest suburbs is more familiar with the market for business parks than Elk Grove Village, which has boasted the largest park in North America since it was built in the 1950s.

The Elk Grove Village park spans five miles, has 3,600 companies and employs 100,000 people, said Nancy Carlson, Elk Grove Village's economic development director.

With a new business park boom, Carlson believes there is room for more.

"I don't think the market is saturated. There are always people looking for newer construction," Carlson said.

Bartlett has Brewster Creek at 670 acres; Streamwood has five parks, ranging in size from 15 acres to 60 acres; and Hanover Park has three parks, from 55 acres to about 300 acres (the decade-old Turnberry Lakes on Lake Street).

Still, there is no better time to bring more parks to the Tri- Villages, said Richard McCaffrey, president of MAC Development of Schaumburg, which is building Phoenix Lake in Streamwood.

"The timing is already perfect. When we get ready to build, lots of people will be there," he said.

One of the first businesses negotiating a move to Phoenix Lake is DuPage Paper Stock, a Maywood recycling company.

What about money?

Experts say business parks can boost property and even sales taxes depending on what type of companies are located there.

But predicting how much taxes will be generated is difficult to do. Streamwood Finance Director Dave Richardson estimates a year's worth of property taxes from Phoenix Lake might net $350,000, likely more.

"They're considering putting up seven 100-square-foot buildings," Richardson said. "We're estimating $50,000 per building, but that number is very low."

He said the numbers will vary because property taxes are all over the board.

"It's hard to say what the property will be assessed at," he said.

Bartlett expects the Brewster Creek Business Park to bring in $9 million a year, but Carlson cautioned that determining a solid number is not easy. …

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