June 2018

138 139 to Elmhurst in 1869 for the elm trees that had been planted along its streets, incorporated as a village in 1882, and became a city in 1910. Elmhurst remained a farming community until the 1930s, after which it developed as a residential suburb of Chicago. The manufacture of industrial supplies, automotive sales, and financial and health care services contribute to the city’s economy. The city is home to Elmhurst College, which was founded in 1871, and serves as the corporate head- quarters for such companies as Superior Ambulance, the Semblex Cor- poration, and McMaster-Carr Supply Co., which along with Edward-Elm- hurst Healthcare is a major employer. Today, Elmhurst is focused on growth. “We have a pro-business city council that helps us motivate developers to move forward with invest- ment in Elmhurst,” says Assistant City Manager, Mike Kopp. “During the Recession, everybody got hit fairly hard and some of the dollars that were removed from our budget were planning dollars. As we recovered, our elected officials saw that we had to get back to planning. The first thing they talked about was redoing our downtown plan.” In June of 2016, the City of Elmhurst adopted a new Downtown Plan. The Downtown Plan presents a vision for the year 2025, and provides goals, objectives, and other recommendations of action to be under- taken by the City to maintain Downtown as an attractive and vibrant city center. The Plan identified and recommended changes to the City’s ELMHURST, ILLINOIS ERIN JASON BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR STEVEN MORLEY MAYOR zoning ordinance, and development procedures and processes. “In 2018, the City Council approved new zon- ing for the downtown in an effort to alleviate the number of variations requested and be more developer friendly,” says City Planner, Eileen Franz. Business Development Coordinator, Erin Jason, adds that updates allowed for streamlined permitting processes. “We took away layers and additional costs for those wanting to invest in town–not to mention a lot of time,” she explains. The city has also strategically created a num- ber of TIF (Tax Increment Financing) Districts to further incentivize revitalization both downtown and throughout the community. The results have been exemplary. Over $120 million in commercial projects came onboard in 2016, another $100 million-plus in 2017, and Kopp reports that about $144 million worth of commercial work is going on throughout the city right now. Completed, ongoing, and planned proj- ects include but are not limited to: Elmhurst 255, a mixed-use development with 192 luxury apart- ments, 150 public parking spots, a community plaza, and 12,000 square feet of retail; the Opus Mixed Use Development –165 luxury apart- ments, plus 7,000-11,000 square feet of first floor retail on the site of a former US Bank; the Fitness Formula Club, a three-story, 50,000-sq.-ft., luxury fitness facility with an indoor and outdoor pool; a new multi-story office building to be built by local real estate agency, New Home Star; two new lux-