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Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce (IL)

A Great Place to Live and Work

Located only 25 miles from downtown Chicago, Arlington Heights is a community in Chicago's desirable Northwest suburban corridor. A growing downtown skyline, expanding shopping areas, and new office parks attest to the Village's vibrancy.

The history of Arlington Heights goes back about a century and a half ago.

Originally known as Dunton, the fledgling town was named after William Dunton, who in 1850 deeded 16 acres for a right-of-way and depot for the Illinois and Wisconsin Railroad Co. The railroad, which would later become the Chicago and North Western Transportation Co., steamed through in 1854. By 1857, six daily trains were operating between Dunton and Chicago.

By the 1880s, Dunton was home to more than 1,000 people, and the area near the train station was a thriving commercial mecca. The name Dunton was changed first to West Wheeling and then, in 1887--when the village was incorporated--to Arlington Heights. Town elders believed the name Arlington Heights was more sophisticated and would offer more appeal to buyers.

Today, Arlington Heights covers about 17 square miles and has a population of over 75,000, according to the 1990 census. Even though Arlington Heights has a population of more than 75,000, local residents and business people will say that the village retains many small-town charms. People remain in their homes for decades, stay loyal to local merchants and display a strong spirit of community participation.

In addition to its tradition of community participation, Arlington Heights has long enjoyed a strong business community. The town continues to offer a vibrant economic climate. Downtown merchants work together to make the area appealing to shoppers. They cooperate in tasks like promoting holidays in the downtown area.

Arlington Heights also provides about 50,000 jobs. Arlington Heights is proud of its residential, commercial, office and light industrial base. The office and industrial areas are centered on the far south end of the community, at Arlington Heights Road and Interstate Highway 90, and at the far north end of town, east of Illinois Highway 53 between Dundee and Lake-Cook Roads.

Another major commercial area is near the intersection of Rand, Palatine and Arlington Heights Roads. Four bustling shopping centers, Annex, Northpoint, Southpoint and Town & Country Center, make that intersection a popular destination for shoppers.

The commercial environment is thriving, with interest in new investment and renovation in existing centers. The downtown redevelopment is expected to reinvigorate the central business district.

Another project should make it easier for north-south motorists to get in and out of downtown.  The new Metra train station, incorporating retail space for McDonald's, Heinemann's Bakeries and Gateway Newstand opened this spring about 2 blocks northwest of the current station.  This will eliminate the need for Arlington Heights Road to be closed while the train is stationary.

The village also is moving ahead with plans for the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, a mixed-use central business district project. It will include a 400-seat performing arts theater, 90 rental units, a 7,000-square-foot restaurant, 22,000 square feet of retail space, and 35,000 square feet of office space.

The last few years have witnessed an upgrading of infrastructure and development of new recreation areas in Arlington Heights. For instance, the community just finished a 10-year project to upgrade its storm sewer system.

In conjunction with that project was the development of Lake Arlington at Palatine Road and Windsor Drive. A 5-acre man-made lake with a boathouse, boat rentals and a walking path around the entire perimeter, Lake Arlington was completed in 1992.

In addition, a former landfill site at the extreme northwest corner (of town), north of Dundee and east of (Illinois Highway) 53, has been redeveloped into Nickol Knoll Park which was completed in 1995. It offers a 9-hole golf course, ballparks and a walking path around it. Both Lake Arlington and Nickol Knoll Park are joint projects of the village of Arlington Heights and the Arlington Heights Park District.

One of Arlington Heights' best-known attractions, the 325-acre Arlington International Racecourse at Euclid Avenue and Wilke Road, reopens this spring with running dates from May 14 through September 30.

The millennium will be an exciting year, with the completion of the many developments underway, the reopening of Arlington International, and celebrating the year 2000.

For all of Arlington Heights' many strengths, it may be its residents and business community participation that means the most to the village. The volunteer spirit and the willingness of the residents and businesses to get involved has been the prime factors that have produced the strong sense of community that exists in Arlington Heights.

Through resident and business community participation, everyone is part of something. People are motivated to not only be a part of the community, but to work for the betterment of the community.

The community has several non-profit organizations that contribute to the business and residential community. The Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce, now over fifty years old, has developed relationships and partnerships with several of these organizations, as well as working with the Village government to provide support for business initiatives, and for the betterment of the Village of Arlington Heights.

200 Arlington Place   180 N. Arlington Heights Rd.   Arlington Heights, IL 60004
TEL: 847.253.1703   FAX: 847.253.9133   E-MAIL:

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