What’s Happening in Wheeling

On behalf of myself and the Wheeling Village Board, thank you for supporting the Wheeling / Prospect Heights Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Chamber works collaboratively with the Village and supports local business expansion. The Chamber provides essential resources, programs, events, job fairs, business seminars and networking opportunities that help connect area businesses.

I am a small business owner. I recognize that businesses small and large sustain our local economy by creating employment opportunities, meeting local shopping, dining, and professional service needs, providing business-to-business patronage, supplying tax revenues that support community services, and more.

Wheeling is the hub of commerce and industry in the northwest suburbs home to over 850 licensed businesses across a range of 50 business sectors, with more than 14 million square feet of industrial space. Wheeling is likely best known as home to the beloved Restaurant Row along Milwaukee Avenue, which continues to attract visitors from throughout the North Shore and northwest suburban region.

I am proud of our business community’s achievements and positive growth. The industrial vacancy rate of only 4 percent continues to reflect strong market demand. New spec industrial buildings were constructed for the first time in over two decades and provide modern, prototype space for today’s growing industrial needs. Progress has been achieved on Wheeling Town Center, Northgate Crossing, the Whitely, Wolf Crossing, and Uptown 500 and we look forward to building on this momentum. Regional and national institutional investment firms recognize Wheeling’s potential thanks in part to the over $230 million in new development projects. The Wheeling Town Center’s residential building and retail portions are well underway and slated to open in early 2019 and the Northgate Crossing townhome development was recently completed.

The Village values our cooperation with neighbors and partner agencies to deliver core services and enhance our community, and this includes our collaboration with the Chamber to support our business promotion and attraction efforts. For instance, the Village of Wheeling and the City of Prospect Heights partner together for Rock ’n’ Run the Runway, our annual Independence Day weekend festivities at Chicago Executive Airport, as well as for the Taste of the Town, which features Wheeling’s Restaurant Row.

The Village’s Department of Economic Development promotes business attraction, business retention, marketing, grant administration and incentive programs and assists existing businesses to manage future growth and space needs. Although Wheeling is an established suburb of Chicago, there are prime development opportunities available for commercial and industrial development along our commercial corridors including two Village-owned lots. For additional information on development opportunities, please contact the Department of Economic Development at (847) 459-2605 or ed@wheelingil.gov.

We are excited about Wheeling’s bright future, and I personally look forward to serving this dynamic community in the years to come.

Patrick Horcher
Patrick Horcher | Village President

Wheeling is located in the heart of the prominent northwest suburbs along the Des Plaines River with beautiful Heritage Park, the Aquatic Center, forest preserves and diverse housing stock. Wheeling is best known for the popular Restaurant Row, one of the thriving culinary destinations in the Chicago area. The variety and quality of dining options is unmatched in the north and northwest suburbs. Wheeling is also home to over 800 businesses, leading manufacturers, a fast-growing residential market, Chicago Executive Airport, National Lewis University and the Korean Cultural Center of Chicago.

A diverse and dynamic community of 40,000, Wheeling is strategically located in immediate proximity to interstate highways 90 and 94, a short Metra commute to downtown Chicago and just nine miles from O’Hare International Airport making it a key destination to live, work, dine and play. Wheeling’s appeal includes quality schools, parks, aquatic center, an award-winning library, forest preserves, regional bike trails, shopping, dining, lifestyle amenities and strong sense of community.

“Where else can you find a restaurant mecca with such an array of eateries like Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ Saranello’s, Bob Chinn’s, Cooper’s Hawk, Tuscany, Benihana and Buca di Beppo within blocks of each other along Restaurant Row?” asked John Melaniphy, Director of Economic Development for the Village of Wheeling.

“Wheeling is a bustling dining scene welcoming diners from the North Shore and northwest suburban region to over a dozen eclectic culinary destinations,” he continued. “Boston Fish Market, which began in Des Plaines, will soon open a 250-seat restaurant and a 50-seat bar in the heart of Restaurant Row. The full-service seafood restaurant will also sell fish and other seafood to take home and prepare.”

The Village of Wheeling originated as an overnight rest stop for travelers journeying from Chicago to Wisconsin territory via the overland trail known today as Milwaukee Avenue. Keeping Wheeling’s hospitality heritage as an overnight resting stop alive, the visitors of today can enjoy lodging at the upscale Westin Chicago North Shore. The inns, taverns, and eateries established in the 1830s on this main corridor developed into Wheeling’s Restaurant Row. Ironically, Wheeling never had a downtown—which is about to change in early 2019 with the development of the Wheeling Town Center.

Wheeling is at a unique crossroads in the Village’s history evolving from a farming community to a major suburban center of commerce and industry with key manufacturers as well as big box retailers, hotels, specialty retail shops, and restaurants.

Village President Pat Horcher said, “Village trustees are proud to see a new generation of professionals, first-time home owners, empty nesters, singles, and millennials making Wheeling their home. Wheeling’s diverse housing stock serves the needs a wide variety of residents from world-class condominiums, affordable rental properties and single-family homes on tree-lined streets.”

While the big news in Wheeling is the transit-oriented development called Wheeling Town Center, which is under construction south of Dundee Road alongside the Wheeling Metra Station, exciting things are also happening elsewhere in the Village, according to Melaniphy.

Uptown 500, a $90 million mixed-use development planned just north of Wheeling Town Center, will begin construction in summer of 2018 and will include 321 luxury apartment units and 10,500 square feet of retail space.

A spike in residents is coming soon. In addition to the approximately 1,000 apartments that are springing up around Wheeling Town Center, D.R. Horton is constructing 39 townhouses on the former site of Deerfield Moving and Storage at 415 N. Wolf Road, known as “Wolf Crossing.”

The Economic Development staff is also engaged in aggressive business attraction efforts focused upon regional, national and international businesses. Despite Wheeling’s mature status, there are prime properties available for development in Wheeling. At the intersection of Route 83 and Dundee Road, Melaniphy said the Village is targeting a sales-tax-producing use like a home improvement store, supercenter, auto dealership, or other junior-anchor retailers for the former Kmart site.

And at the north end of the Village, Melaniphy said that they are working with ownership of the 17 vacant acres across the street from the Westin Hotel for a mixed-use development. This is the site immediately north of the Prairie Park condominium development.