Local News

Several new projects expected for Lakewood over the next few years

Village of Lakewood President David Stavropoulos speaks during the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce’s State of the Community Luncheon, Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, at D'Andrea Banquets & Conference Center. The annual luncheon feature guest speakers Crystal Lake Mayor Haig Haleblian and Village of Lakewood President David Stavropoulos who spoke about their respective communities.

A travel oasis at the intersection of Routes 47 and 176 is moving forward, Lakewood Village President David Stavropoulos said during a state of the community address Friday.

Both Stavropoulos and Crystal Lake Mayor Haig Haleblian spoke during a luncheon hosted by the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce about new projects set for the coming year, as well as some that will take several years.

The travel center is set to be anchored by an Amoco gas station and convenience store, as well as a Subway and Dunkin’, according to village documents. When the Village Board approved the sale of the land in May 2020, it was billed as the largest development the village had ever approved and originally had been slated to open this spring.

“The travel oasis is happening,” Stavropoulos said. “There were some wetland mitigation issues they needed to resolve. Those issues have been resolved. They started grading on the property as well, but the real issue for them – as any business – is they need easy access in.”

The realignment of Routes 47 and 176 proposed by the Illinois Department of Transportation would help address that issue, Stavropoulos said. As soon as the dollars are allocated for the project, work can start.

The hope is that the project will ease traffic and make for a safer intersection, according to a pamphlet provided at the event by the village.

The village of Lakewood is actively moving forward with the design, planning and financing options for providing sewer and water to the area, according to the pamphlet.

“Both Huntley and Woodstock have enjoyed the beginning stages of commercial development on [Route 47], with Lakewood delightfully sitting between these communities,” the village said in the pamphlet.

“This area has the potential for large commercial, retail and residential growth in the next [five] to 10 years,” the village continued. “Lakewood is actively seeking forward-thinking developers who are interested in opportunities for this next hot area.”

Another project highlighted during Friday’s luncheon was a career experiences program being launched by Community High School District 155, which Crystal Chamber of Commerce President Bill Eich said would benefit all 5,600 students and their families.

District 155 will work with local businesses to help create short- and long-term employment opportunities for students, Eich said. A nursing assistant program also is in the works, which would allow students direct access to certifications and eventually jobs.

Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 has focused its energy on providing targeted academic, social and emotional support, interventions and enrichment for students to address the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eich said.

“With the help of the elementary and secondary school emergency relief funds, the district was able to implement the Second Step social emotional curriculum in elementary schools,” Eich said. “It is now being taught at levels K-8.”

Air conditioning also is expected to be installed this summer at Husmann Elementary School and Lundahl Middle School, Eich said.

The Crystal Lake Park District is in the early planning stages for a new community park on Haligus Road in Lakewood, Stavropoulos said. Donated by the village of Lakewood, the piece of land is 10 acres in size and sits south of the Lakewood Public Works building on Haligus Road.

The park district hired Hitchcock Design group to design the master plan for the park and will lead additional public input sessions in 2022, according the village of Lakewood.

“It’ll probably be a few years before that’s up and running,” Stavropoulos said.