JUN 23, 2017
Neighbors: 15 new homes changing character of Arlington Heights neighborhood
By Ema Sasic
As construction of 15 single-family homes on the former Henry estate site west of downtown Arlington Heights has begun, local homeowners such as 18-year resident Cindy Bieda are reminiscing about the loss of "the solitude of a single piece of property."
"It was a beautiful property. I would see Mrs. Henry walking her dogs around it and there used to be a tree that grew berries (right across the street) and so many people would gather in front of my house. It was great," she said. "Change is inevitable, and the new houses are nice, but I do wish it could have stayed."
Homeowner Andrea Kalember recalled that when she attended a public hearing regarding developing the land a few years ago, there were many people who would have liked to see it stay was it was.
"I think as a community we had two choices to handle the land in a positive way: having it be developed so that more people can move to Arlington Heights, or take steps to try to preserve and take better care of the lot where the Henry mansion was," Kalember said. "I would have also been delighted to see the Henry estate taken care of and landscaped and turned into a park or a place we could tour."
The development is called Lexington Towne at Arlington Heights by Lexington Homes, a Chicago-area homebuilder. The single-family homes will have four to six bedrooms, 2½ to four bathrooms and two- to three-car garages.
Homes will include many upscale features, with prices beginning at $759,990 and size averaging 3,300 square feet, said Vicki Haliw, Lexington Homes sales manager.
The final plat was approved Aug. 15, 2016, and Lexington Homes began selling properties in November. According to its website, six have been sold. Five will be on Kasper Avenue, and 10 will be on Kennicott Avenue.
The homes are being built as they are bought. The model show home will be open for viewing the second week of July. The first homeowners will be moving in September, and Haliw said she hopes construction will be complete by next year. She said many of the homeowners are from the Arlington Heights area.
Robert J. and Lorraine Henry were the last listed owners of the nearly 5-acre property bordered by West Campbell Street, South Kaspar Avenue, West Sigwalt Street and South Patton Avenue. The estate included an indoor swimming pool and servants' quarters.
Nearby residents said the property had a garden that was tended by landscapers, but it became overgrown when the home became vacant. The property was put up for sale a few years ago after Lorraine died, and the home was torn down in 2014.
Bill Enright, deputy director of planning and community development, said while the estate is no longer, Lexington Homes "did a good job preserving some of the trees and parkways surrounding the site and some of the trees on the site to try to preserve that part of the character. The tree preservation is critical," he said.
"In the spring of 2016 I had made the decision to downsize out of the home I had lived in for 22 years."
- LuAnn Guthrie Tenuta