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Hampshire leaders optimistic about future

Hampshire Village President Jeff Magnussen (left) Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner talk about village Hampshire AreChamber Commerce meeting.  |

Hampshire Village President Jeff Magnussen (left) and Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner talk about the village at the Hampshire Area Chamber of Commerce meeting. | Denise Moran Photo ~ Special to Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 1, 2013 6:16AM

HAMPSHIRE — Village President Jeff Magnussen and Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner reviewed this year’s accomplishments and offered a peek at next year’s goals this week for the Hampshire Area Chamber of Commerce.

The two village officials spoke at a chamber meeting held at Ryland Community Center in the Lakewood Crossing subdivision.

Magnussen touted the subdivision as one of this year’s accomplishments. Ryland Homes took over the development after its previous developer lost the unsold parts of the subdivision to its mortgage holder. The subdivision was 50 percent built out when Ryland Homes came in.

An agreement this year between the village and Ryland Homes brought impact and transition fees for the development back to what they were in 2005.

“Ryland Homes to date has pulled 65 permits for new home start-ups,” Magnussen said.

“This has been a very positive development for us,” Maxeiner said. “Without Jeff’s leadership, this development would be sitting vacant.”

However, Magnussen said, the Tuscany Woods development along Route 72 is not doing as well.

“The subdivision has sat idle for over three years,” Magnussen said. “We are on our third bank with this development. To date, we are paying $5,000 a month in attorney fees. We’re going to try and get a new developer for Tuscany Woods, which has room for a total of 640 homes.”

When asked about the Crown Development subdivision, Magnussen said: “Crown Development is on mothballs. Until the market picks up, there are no plans.”

Art Zwemke, manager of Robert Arthur Land Co. Hampshire LLC, brought plans for the age-restricted Hampshire Grove before the village board this year. The proposed development would include 848 homes on 451 acres.

Business changes

The village’s downtown area lost Ace Hardware this year, but Magnussen said other new businesses are on the horizon. There had been an Ace Hardware store along State Street for more than 60 years. It was owned by the Myers family for 30 years before the Marlowes bought the business and ran it for 31 years.

“The store did not close from lack of business,” Magnussen said. “There is a market for a hardware store in Hampshire. If a hardware store comes to Hampshire, it will probably be along Illinois (Route) 72.”

Magnussen said that Heartland Bank & Trust is now the proprietor of the former Citizens Bank along Route 72. A Resource Bank is expected to open in the village in early 2013.

“We have a good contingent of bankers in Hampshire,” Magnussen said. “Village residents like to do business in town.”

While the McDonald’s restaurant on Route 20 in Hampshire completed its remodeling as of last week, there have been rumors of another McDonald’s restaurant coming to the village, along Route 72. Magnussen said that while nothing is set in stone, it possibly would operate out of a strip mall setting with a drive-thru feature.

Two new businesses in Hampshire this year were Dunkin’ Donuts and a Casey’s General Store, both located along Route 72.

A hurdle to building a Casey’s in Hampshire was overcome when the village agreed to assist in paying the $48,672 Kane County transportation impact fee. Kane and DuPage counties are the only two counties in Illinois that impose this fee.

“It’s really interesting to see how the village almost lost Casey’s because of the impact fee,” said Lynn Acker, Hampshire chamber president. “Casey’s is located along a state highway and not along a county road. There’s no doubt Casey’s would have walked if the village had not helped out.”

“We’re trying to get a reduction or elimination of the fee,” Maxeiner said. “This would be helpful to Hampshire so businesses would not have to pay more to locate here.”

Police station move

Maxeiner said that the Hampshire Police Department will move from 200 Industrial Drive to 250 Industrial Drive in December.

“This will allow better access for residents,” Maxeiner said. “There will be an open house in January after the department is up and running.”

Maxeiner said that the village’s sales tax revenue was up 13 percent over last year. The property tax collections were down, which could offset the increase.

There are an average of about eight home foreclosures a month in Hampshire.

“Overall, we’re cautiously optimistic,” Maxeiner said. “We’re not planning on adding any new personnel. We’re trying to keep doing what we’ve been doing.”

The chamber elected its new leaders for 2013. They are Diana Chartier, Travelex International, chamber president; Wendy Harries, Fifth Third Bank, chamber vice president; Carol Schrey, Ella Johnson Memorial Public Library, chamber treasurer; and Sheldon Clark, Edward Jones-Huntley, chamber secretary.

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