Downtown Improvements Project
Status: Stage 1 Complete, Stage 2 Complete, Stage 3 Under Construction
Over the past several years, Downtown West Dundee has undergone its most extensive renovation in decades, including additional public gathering spaces, enhanced infrastructure and renovations to nearly every commercial property therein.
In early 2017, the empty Ace Hardware building at 118 S First was removed and replaced by an expanded and improved public parking lot to support the downtown business community. The old Pump House/Fire Station at 98 Oregon was also removed at that time. Bricks from the Pump House were reclaimed and held, with the intent of building a new code-compliant structure designed to pay tribute to the original in Stage 3. Its usable space would support public events and activities.
The most dramatic change occurred on the southeast corner of First and Main (Rte 72). The complex of buildings fronting Main St just west of the Fox River were removed to establish a new public park area and riverfront improvements for public use. In addition, three new stone-facade dumpster enclosures were constructed to serve the downtown businesses. These improvements were completed in Stage 1. Stage 2 Downtown Improvements were completed in 2020 and include additional riverfront improvements and additional parking spaces east of First Street.
Stage 3 Downtown Improvements began construction in January 2023. This stage includes:
1) Construction of a new structure near the VFW containing restrooms and a concession area, paying homage to the former Pump House at this location.
2) The addition of an entry monument and seat wall at the First and Main public park built during Phase 1.
3) A lighted pedestrian pass-through alley between 107 and 109 W Main Street, connecting the south parking lot to south side of Main Street.
4) A new public park area at Lincoln and Washington to include seat walls, pathways, plantings and an entry monument, alongside an expanded and reconfigured Washington Street with additional parking and brick paver crosswalks.
5) The addition of brick paver crosswalks at Second & Oregon and First & Oregon.
6) Wayfinding signage throughout the Downtown area.
Click here to view engineering plans for the noted improvements.
The contract to complete this work was awarded to Copenhaver Construction of Huntley.
Private investment has also changed the face of Downtown West Dundee in recent years, bringing many of the historic commercial properties up to today's code compliant standards. A public/private partnership facilitated the complete interior and exterior renovation of the former bowling alley at 101 S First, which is now home to Around the Corner Candy, Shine Salon & Dry Bar and Pucci Law.
The first property in recent years to see a major facelift, inside and out, was 102 W Main. This property was renovated to suit DreamCo Design back in 2012, and more recently sold to and inhabited by Trippots. Other significant private renovations have included: 109 and 111 W Main, now home to McCauley Holdings and United Career Fairs and upper level residences; 101 W Main, now home to Bamboozels; 96 W Main, now home to RocHaus; 124 W Main, now home to Elder & Oat and 124 Lofts; 125-127 W Main, now home to Woodfire and upper level residences; 104-106 W Main, now home to Motl Accounting/Payroll Vault; and 205 W Main, now home to The Half Full Nest Vintage Market. Most recently, 112 S. Second Street was renovated inside and out, and transformed from four long-term rentals to four high-quality short term rental units, complementing the existing stock at 124 Lofts.
Interior renovations have also been completed in recent years at existing downtown businesses, including Emmett's Brewing Company (125 W Main), Spa Bleu (106 N 2nd), and The Village Squire (125 Washington), and to facilitate new businesses, including bleuroot (98 W Main) and Boxwood Home & Cabinetry Company (122 W Main).
Downtown West Dundee will continue to transform as these projects are completed, and potentially others initiated in the future. The PDF above provides a broad overview of the Stage 3 improvements underway, as well as the Stage 1 and 2 public improvements that have been realized. For additional before and after photos of improvements mentioned above, please view the Spring 2021 Newsletter.
Woodlands at Canterfield
Status: Under Construction
Located on nine acres at the southwest corner of Route 31 and Angle Tarn (901 Angle Tarn, West Dundee), Woodlands at Canterfield is being developed by Iowa-based Nelson Construction & Development
. Woodlands will include 91 units of assisted living and 41 units of memory support, feature numerous indoor and outdoor amenities, and be operated by the well-regardedFranciscan Ministries
. Occupancy is anticipated by Summer 2023.
More information about the community may be found by visiting the facility’s website at: www.woodlandsatcanterfield.com. View a PDF of the perspective renderings for this proposed development below.
Click here to view an animated flyover
or click below to view a PDF of the perspective renderings for the project.
Spring Hill Mall
History: Developed by the Homart Development Company and having opened in October of 1980, for decades Spring Hill Mall (SHM) has served - and continues to serve - West Dundee and surrounding communities. SHM is owned by Chicago-based Brookfield Retail Properties Group. With 122 enclosed malls, Brookfield has the second largest portfolio in the nation after Simon Properties Group.
Retail Revolution: Changing tastes, shifts in consumer behavior, and new technology have fueled a retail revolution over time. New convenience-based physical formats (medium- and big-box stores and lifestyle centers, among others) first became popular and then e-commerce emerged. Embraced by consumers and empowered by smart devices, online retailing has gained noteworthy market share with a trendline that continues upward.
Village-Rouse Partnership: Recognizing these rapidly-changing market conditions, in 2015 the Village partnered with then-owner of SHM Rouse Properties (subsequently purchased by Brookfield) to reinvest in the facility with a lifestyle format addition to the facility’s west side which was made possible by demolition of two former anchors (JC Penney and Joseph Spiess Co.). In addition to the lifestyle plan (available within the below PDF), the Village passed a tax increment financing (TIF) district (click here to view Ordinance 2016-20, Approving a Spring Hill Mall TIF Redevelopment Plan)
The centerpiece of this redevelopment plan was the addition of an eight-screen Cinemark movie theater, which opened in December of 2016. Outward-facing, flexible leasable space and development-ready pads (currently grassy placeholders) compromise the remainder of the proposed lifestyle addition. A remodeled and expanded Victoria Secret/PINK was also completed in 2016, followed by the 2017 additions of fashion-forward retailer H&M and new eateries, including local favorite sports pub, The Chubby Bullfrog.
Vision for the Future: With ongoing seismic shifts in retail, and given the importance of SHM and the surrounding area to the West Dundee economy and beyond, in 2018 the Village proactively developed a vision for the area’s future with experienced design partner, Atlanta-based The Sizemore Group. This high-level slide deck (available within the below PDF) conveys an aspirational vision for the future of the SHM area and how it could evolve over the next 15-20 years.
This illustrative vision is intended to be be both inspirational and aspirational but not necessarily prescriptive. The plan shows a “scaled-up downtown” model. While its just one of many potential scenarios, it was selected due to the lessons that can be learned from the enduring value that historic downtown West Dundee possesses just a mile to the east, where a compact, walkable Main Street lined with mixed-use buildings of traditional architecture and surrounded by residential neighborhoods with access to the Fox River has resulted in a unique sense of place and enduring value.
With this inspiration, at its core the plan to reimagine the mall area is based on the fundamentals of urbanism, which emphasizes human scale, a mix of uses, and pedestrian- and cycling-friendly access. To deliver such a built environment, conventional blocks are created by overlaying an internal street network onto the site. The block size approximates that of a traditional West Dundee neighborhood and importantly allows for incremental development over time based on market conditions.
The plan is centered on a new Main Street experience that would be visible from the Village’s actual Main Street (Route 72) fronted by mixed-use buildings that could accommodate a range of uses, including right-sized retail and dining, office, and residential, among potentially other uses. The Main Street experience is bolstered by a public commons akin to a traditional town square and anchored by an adjacent civic building (e.g., a public library).
To further this live-work-play approach, the plan also shows a new residential neighborhood with a mix of housing typologies serving different stages of life, and anticipates the potential for a multitude of other uses on the approximately 100-acre area, including but not limited to hospitality (hotel), institutional (educational, health care, etc.), and recreational (including an amenitized stormwater basin park).
Inquiries may be directed to Timothy Scott, AICP, CNU-A, Community Development Director, at (847) 551-3806 or email@example.com.
Status: Under Review
Michigan-based developer SR Jacobson has proposed development of a multi-family residential rental community and a commercial outlot for approximately 75 acres of what is currently unincorporated land at the southeast corner of Main Street/Route 72 and Randall Road (commonly referred to as the Strepek property). Proposed are 228 attached single family two-story townhomes and 152 attached single family single-level ranch villas.
The subject property has heavily-wooded areas, interesting topography and natural features, and vacant/open areas that have been used for agricultural purposes. The proposed site’s design employs a clustered approach and focuses the dwelling units predominantly in vacant (farm-cleared) areas. By doing so, a significant amount of mature trees and wetlands will be preserved and result in a site that will remain more than 50% open space.