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Crystal Lake Continues To Grow, Positioning Itself As A 'Clear Leader’

The Springs of Three Oaks, an apartment complex in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Setting up shop in an area with civic leadership that has a growth mindset and makes long-term plans that benefit both its businesses and residents can ensure that a business is set up for success. Crystal Lake, Illinois, a community within the northwest suburbs of Chicago, prioritizes making new businesses feel welcome and is focused on a holistic approach to development that enhances the quality of life for its 40,000 residents.

According to Scott Guerard, vice president of land acquisition at Lennar Corp., location is a major reason Crystal Lake is a clear leader. 

“The city is directly between Chicago and Rockford, and with its two Metra stops and proximity to I-90, it’s easy to access,” Guerard said. “The location is great for business, and as a resident myself, it’s great for my family and our daily life.”

He added that in addition to welcoming new businesses, Crystal Lake is working to support its residents by building new housing options.

Mercyhealth Campus

The new Lennar development, Woodlore Estates, mixes single-family homes with townhomes and age-restricted homes. The 500-unit Woodlore community is more than halfway complete, while the Springs of Three Oaks, a 280-unit luxury apartment complex, is finishing construction and residents have begun to move in. 

Next to The Springs of Three Oaks is the now-underway Redwood of Crystal Lake, a townhome-style apartment complex that will consist of 305 units. The city is also reviewing luxury apartments and townhomes within walking distance from the Main Street and Crystal Lake Avenue Metra stop.

There will also be close to 271 new housing units and 68K SF of retail and restaurant space added to the area once the new, 30-acre mixed-use development next to Three Oaks Recreation Area is finalized.

Additionally, Mercyhealth began construction on a $105M healthcare facility in 2021 along the Route 31 corridor, which will also be home to a new Thornton’s gas station across the street.  

“The city has intentionally fostered a business-friendly approach for decades, and we’re seeing the results,” Crystal Lake Mayor Haig Haleblian said. “We continue to attract new investors and reinvent the city as it grows.”

Haleblian said the city has promoted the redevelopment of older commercial areas, embracing transit-oriented development near downtown and mixed-use projects along heavily trafficked Route 14. Brixmor, along with other shopping center owners, is also busy reinvesting in its centers with interior and exterior enhancements.

Crystal Court, a shopping center in Crystal Lake, Illinois

Along with these new developments, several national and regional restaurants recently opened in Crystal Lake. This year, the city welcomed Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. 

Paul Leech is the owner of multiple businesses in Crystal Lake, including Jude’s, an international small plates and gin bar that opened in downtown Crystal Lake across from the Raue Center for the Arts Theater. For him, the choice to open in the downtown area was obvious.

“The city has a vision for the downtown, and we’re all working together to build toward that,” Leech said. “The downtown area is a great place to be. It’s charming, easily accessible and gets a lot of foot traffic.”

According to Leech, the downtown area was designed to create an outstanding quality of life, and it continues to attract new residents, an ever-growing workforce and a vibrant business-friendly community to Crystal Lake. 

“Crystal Lake’s business-friendly philosophy and commitment to the business community has enabled the city to establish itself as a great location for business opportunities,” Haleblian said. “The city is always looking to attract new restaurants and retailers. If you are interested in learning more about available opportunities, contact the city of Crystal Lake to assist you in finding the right location for your business.” 

This article was produced in collaboration between Studio B and The city of Crystal Lake. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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