Downtowns are the heart of any city. They are the place where the community celebrates its city’s special occasions. Their buildings and businesses tell their city’s stories of resilience and change.
While few downtowns are the retail centers they once were, they are still home to “mom and pop” businesses – whether that’s a local mechanic, a coffee shop or a jewelry store.
Downtown Elgin is also attracting new business in the areas of technology and the arts. Small, start-up tech companies are attracted to downtown’s urban amenities and affordable rents that allow for growth and innovation. Many of these businesses are finding a home in the Elgin Technology Center in downtown’s iconic Elgin Tower Building.
Artists and arts-related businesses have access to a burgeoning creative community that will truly flourish with the opening of Elgin Artspace in 2012 – a 55-unit housing development for artists with 6,000 square feet of new commercial space.
The City of Elgin has invested more than $300 million in its downtown over the past decade with new streets, sidewalks and sewers, beautiful parks and riverwalk, state-of-the-art rec center, award-winning library and grants to help property owners restore the historic character of more than 75 buildings. This public investment has encouraged millions in private investment to bring new residential developments and independent businesses to the district.