Elk Grove Village’s purchase of a shopping center will close the bowling alley, but not the bakery

Elk Grove Village is paying $ 12.7 million to buy a shopping center at the city’s northern entrance, with a view to a redevelopment that officials say will preserve some iconic businesses but close at least one.

The village board of directors signed two separate buy and sell agreements on Tuesday evening. One, worth $ 2 million, is owned by third-generation owners of the Elk Grove Bowl, which has anchored the plaza at the southeast corner of Arlington Heights and Higgins Roads since 1963.

The other deal, worth $ 10.7 million, is with the Nieman family, longtime owners of the strip center. Now called Elk Grove Woods Plaza, it was the first shopping mall to open in Elk Grove in 1959.

The deals, slated to close on December 30, include everything in the prominent corner except a Shell gas station.

The transactions will cause the bowling alley to close, likely by the end of April, while the village will take over the leases of 10 businesses that populate the mall, according to Mayor Craig Johnson.

The village will issue a request for proposals to developers in early 2022 for a potential mixed-use development that would preserve as many retailers as possible, while adding a housing component, Johnson said. The officials’ initial vision is for a 250-unit 3 to 5-story apartment building on the bowling site closest to Arlington Heights Road, and a commercial building along Higgins.

The municipality got involved when staff from the village’s engineering department learned last summer about a few groups interested in bowling ownership. Two asked if the village’s zoning would allow used car sales land there, and one asked for a self-storage building, the mayor said.

“We spoke as a board of directors – it’s really not what we imagined to be the preeminent gateway to this community,” Johnson said.

The 40-lane, 40,000-square-foot bowling alley, which includes a bar, pool hall and game room, is expected to close when the leagues end in April, Johnson said. This is before a generally slow summer season for the company, he added.

Johnson said he spoke to some of the mall’s other business owners, including Jarosch Bakery, Tensuke Market, Rose Garden Cafe and 7 Mile Cycles, who are keen to stay around the corner and be a part of the new redevelopment.

The mayor says that is his goal, adding that the village will honor all existing leases. Construction on the new mixed-use project would not begin until spring 2023, and when it does, development would be built in phases to allow businesses to stay in business.

“I can’t tell Jarosch Bakery to close for a year,” Johnson said of the iconic business.

Johnson said he frequented bowling in his youth, but while still being nostalgic, he also said those old suburban malls are becoming a thing of the past.

“This is our first. It might not be the last,” Johnson said of other retail store redevelopments. “The time is right and we have this golden opportunity to do so. “

Plans call for the new development to be completed by the end of 2024.

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