Named for the native elk that roamed the northern Illinois forests and grasslands, Elk Grove Village was initially settled in 1834 by pioneer New England farmers. By 1848, German-immigrant farmers soon settled in the area, establishing a thriving community that would eventually become Elk Grove Village.
The rural community transformed into a center of commerce when Douglas Aircraft built a military transport manufacturing plant in nearby Orchard Place during World War II. Following the war, the industrial facility and land was sold for $1 to the City of Chicago as war surplus. The location would then become the world’s busiest airport – O’Hare International Airport. The phenomenal expansion of O’Hare during the 1950s and 1960s closely parallels Elk Grove Village’s growth as a successful community and leading Midwest industrial center.
The Village’s expansion is also attributed to an enterprising group of Dallas-based land developers that selected Elk Grove Village as its site for a planned community during the 1950s. Centex Corporation chose the Village because of its proximity to rail, the new air facilities, and major highways. The group acquired 1,500 continuous acres of land to build residential and industrial sections of the community, leading to Elk Grove Village’s incorporation in 1956. A master plan for the controlled growth of the Village was initiated and construction of industrial buildings, homes, corporate offices, retail establishments and schools soon followed. Under the comprehensive plan, the Village was divided in half with residential development to the west and a business park on the east, bordering the airport.
Today, those 1,500 acres have increased to almost 7,000 through more than 150 annexations and the small community of 116 original residents is now home to nearly 35,000 people who have come to appreciate the exceptional community of Elk Grove Village.
Within the 10.9 square miles of Elk Grove Village, there exist two distinct but still united communities: residential and business. Listed in a recently published book, “Fifty Fabulous Places to Raise Your Family” by Melissa Giovagnoli, Elk Grove was included for its excellent parks and recreation, schools, access to transportation, varied housing stock, vibrant economy, low crime rate, exceptional community service, and small-town atmosphere. Thanks to more than $36 million in revenue collected yearly from sales and commercial property taxes, Elk Grove Village is able enjoy one of the lowest property tax rates in the Northwest suburbs.
In addition to Elk Grove’s residential community, it also possesses a booming business community. Beginning from only 90 companies that were opened for business in 1962, there are now over 3,600 firms and service organizations within the Village. It is regionally considered a premier location for business and industry. The five square mile Elk Grove Village Business Park contains the second largest concentration of employment in the state of Illinois, with approximately 100,000 people commuting here for work. It contains a diverse mix of local, national, and international companies.
Another noteworthy source of employment, located outside of the Business Park, is the 125-acre Northwest Point office park. Northwest Point features a 10-story building with 200,000 square feet of office space, a luxury hotel, beautifully landscaped setting, prominent corporate tenants, and other added amenities.
Although the expansion of Elk Grove Village is today limited by the boundaries of its neighbors, it continues to redevelop and thrive as the “Exceptional Community.”