Arlington Heights acquires key parcel in Hickory-Kensington area


Arlington Heights officials Monday acquired a key piece of property in an area they’ve long been priming for redevelopment.

The village board agreed to pay $620,000 for the 28,419-square-foot lot at 6 N. Hickory Ave. — a leftover parcel just north of a nearly complete five-story, 76-unit apartment building. It’s all part of the former Dana Molded Products factory site.

A redevelopment agreement inked between the village and developers Guido Neri and Ben Pecoraro in 2018 called for the village to buy the square-shaped parcel — not needed for the larger apartment project — and hold it for possible future development.

Despite construction delays, the developers have made significant progress on the apartments and 3,500 square feet of commercial space — expected to be ready for occupancy later this year or early next, village officials say.

Charles Witherington-Perkins, the village’s director of planning and community development, said the extra piece of land to the north could be assembled with a neighboring parcel to the west for some type of small development. A different developer has submitted plans for a five-story apartment building at 4 N. Douglas Ave. that would mirror the new apartment project next door on Hickory.

Or the newly acquired Hickory lot could be incorporated with the long-standing Heller Lumber Co. property to the north, if and when that redevelops, Perkins said. But, he emphasized, “there’s no intent or effort by the village to move the lumber yard out.”



“Rather than having multiple little pieces of property owned by different people — that’s the one thing that stalls development is the land acquisition side of things,” Perkins said.

The village set up a tax increment financing district in 2014 to help spur redevelopment of the light industrial area into a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood that could complement the nearby downtown.

Through the TIF district — in which property taxes above a certain level go into a fund for economic development projects — the village is paying the apartment developer $800,000 to extend Campbell Street west from Hickory and make streetscape improvements along Hickory and Kensington Road.

The village recently extended Campbell to the east behind Beverly Lanes bowling alley.

Still to come in the neighborhood is the proposed Arlington Beer Co. microbrewery at 19 N. Hickory Ave. But despite receiving land use and zoning variations from the village board more than two years ago, the owners haven’t submitted applications for a building permit or liquor license, Perkins said.



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