Mall with former Elk Grove Bowl gets its redevelopment tax boost

Elk Grove Village trustees signed into law a series of ordinances on Tuesday establishing a new tax-raised funding district that includes the town’s oldest mall and the longtime bowling alley that closed last month.

The 25.5-acre Special Tax District, unanimously approved by the Village Council, was set up to help fund the Village’s redevelopment efforts at the southeast corner of Arlington Heights and Higgins Roads. This is where officials envision a mixed-use development of apartments and retail at the city’s northern entrance.

With council approval of three ordinances Tuesday night, property taxes paid to local governments like schools, the park district and the township will be frozen at their current levels for 23 years, and taxes collected above those levels in the area will go into a special village fund to pay for redevelopment projects.

“This is an important aspect because by making it TIF eligible, it allocates us available funds to make public improvements that we know are needed for this older site, and it makes it more desirable for the private sector to want to develop a project that we will all be very proud of,” said Mayor Craig Johnson.

“It’s a big step. Now we just have to move.”

The village plans to send out a request to developers this summer for prospective plans for the Elk Grove Woods Plaza and Elk Grove Bowl sites. The municipality paid $12.7 million for the properties in two separate deals last December, while announcing plans for a potential 250-apartment three- to five-story building on the bowling alley site closer to Arlington Heights Road as well as a retail building along Higgins.

Johnson said he’s open to other ideas the developers might come up with, but his goal is to keep all businesses open. The mall includes Jarosch Bakery, Tensuke Market, Rose Garden Cafe and 7 Mile Cycles.


Elk Grove Bowl completed its last frame on April 30 after the retirement of third-generation owner Debbie Handler, whose family started the businesses 60 years ago. Almost all of the contents of the 40-lane bowling alley have been removed and the village is preparing to demolish the building in August.

On Tuesday, the board approved an $86,690 contract with McHenry-based HR Green to provide engineering, tendering and construction supervision for the upcoming demolition project, which will the subject of a separate contract.

The village could pick a developer as early as this fall and start construction next year — in phases to avoid disrupting operations, Johnson said.

In addition to the corner mall, the new TIF district includes six commercial properties on the north side of Higgins, from Arlington Heights Road to Gordon Street. It adjoins another TIF created in 2017 in conjunction with the redevelopment of the former Busse family farm in the Elk Grove Technology Park.

Edwin S. Wolfe