by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The party horns used to celebrate the beginning of 2011 might still be ringing in the air, but the village of Sugar Grove has already identified its main goals for the new year.
Areas such as retail and residential growth and improved economic stability are high on the village’s 2011 wish list, even though the village is still slowly removing the financial shackles brought on by the current recession. Nevertheless, Village President Sean Michels believes residential growth could potentially be jumpstarted by the same entity that helped make 2010 a success for the village: McDonald’s.
“With McDonald’s coming in, I really hope other retailers take notice. We’ve been in touch with Walgreens, and hope they break ground in late 2011 and open up in 2012, which is what we’ve been told (will happen),” he said.
In terms of residential growth, Michels said he wants to see developers come in and take over the Meadow Ridge Villas and Settlers Ridge subdivisions, since neither has seen any improvements made during the recession.
“I hope some of those projects take off with some houses being built,” he said. “I think that’s good for the people (in those subdivisions) to see that their homes are going to start to appreciate in value once building starts.”
The village also is working with the Aurora Airport to bring in HondaJet Aircraft, which Michels said will help the airport continue to grow while also adding to the village’s daytime population, a factor that will help bring restaurants and service-type organizations to Sugar Grove.
“I’d like to see the airport continue to grow, because I think it’s a unique feature to our area,” he said.
To bring in HondaJet Aircraft will require an extension of Galena Boulevard west to the airport, though that responsibility actually falls on Aurora and the airport rather than the village, Michels said.
The village could also see the start of construction for a 200-bed head trauma rehabilitation center located near the corner of Route 47 and Wheeler Road. Michels said the rehabilitation facility project would create over 200 construction jobs, as well as 200 permanent jobs for doctors, nurses, therapists and other professionals once the center is completed.
A certificate of need must be awarded to the facility’s developer, Molloy Bolz Properties, LLC, before construction can begin.
“We’ll find out in January or February if the facility is coming, and we think the likelihood is very good,” Michels said.
Despite the ambitious plan for a high-upside project such as a head trauma center, however, Village Trustee Mari Johnson maintains that the village’s goals for 2011 are based around its ability to work within a confined budget and provide as much service to the community as possible.
“There isn’t going to be a lot of outstanding projects on the village side of things,” she said. “I just want to see the village move forward and continue to bring in the additional commercial development that is going to help offset everyone’s taxes.”