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The town now known as Hoffman Estates got its start under the name of Wildcat Grove, which was part of the larger Schaumburg Township in the nineteenth century. The settlement was made up primarily of German immigrants and migrants from New England and upstate New York. Wildcat Grove remained sparsely populated until the 1940s, when a new wave of German immigrants appeared, after fleeing their country to escape the war in Europe and desperate post-war economic situation in Germany.
In the mid 1950s, a man named Sam Hoffman and his son Jack purchased more than 750 acres of land within the Schaumburg Township. They re-zoned a small portion of the parcel into 10,000-square-foot residential properties. With their large land tract, the Hoffmans created the first affordable suburban development in and around Wildcat Grove. But the father-son team was met with resistance by the residents of Schaumburg Centre, who wanted the region to be divided in larger, more expensive chunks, at a minimum of five acres.
To fend off the Schaumburg assault, inhabitants of the new development formed a homeowner's association, eventually incorporating into Hoffman Estates by the end of the 1950s. Within three years, the size of Hoffman Estates doubled, pulling land from Schaumburg, which encircled the town. In the 1960s, Hoffman Estates successfully attracted the Thomas Engineering Company and welcomed manufacturing jobs to the town. Then, in the late 1970s, neighboring land was incorporated into the Barrington Township, which became a major center of corporate and industrial development, employing thousands of people in the area. Due, in part, to its close proximity to Barrington's thriving business borough, the population of Hoffman Estates more than doubled from 1970 to 1990, and by the 2000 census it had reached almost 50,000.
Hoffman Estates boasts about 60 public parks, which is quite remarkable considering the town is one of the smaller Chicago suburbs. In addition to the hundreds of acres of green space offered by the Hoffman Estates Park District, there are also several indoor facilities that include recreation centers with fitness rooms, racquetball courts, youth centers and game rooms. Among these, Willow Park (Lexington Dr, 847-885-7500) is one of the more popular spots, as it features a large rec center and a skate park. The Willow Recreation Center offers indoor volleyball and racquetball courts, a complete fitness facility, a teen room and game room, and a 11,000-square-foot skate park (helmets are required).
The parks aren't the only places in Hoffman Estates with open green expanses and leisure time activities - the area golf courses supply just enough of the manicured green stuff to satisfy local golfers. The Hilldale Golf Club (1625 Ardwick Dr, 847-310-1100) was opened in 1970 by Marshall Field Jr., son of the department store and newspaper mogul. The 18-hole, par 71 is situated on gorgeous terrain that offers a wide range of obstacles and challenges. The course was designed by the famous golf architect and landscaper Robert Trent Jones, and 13 of the holes involve water. Another excellent course is found at the Poplar Creek Country Club (1400 Poplar Creek Dr, 847-781-3681), which is operated and maintained by the Hoffman Estates Park District. In addition to beautiful fairways, Poplar Creek has an impressive clubhouse that features the Tuscany Bar & Grill and signature dishes provided by local culinary guru Phil Stefani. The Highland Woods Golf Course (2775 Ela Rd, 847-359-5850) is the town's premier course. The par 72, 18-hole course is open to the public for relatively inexpensive green fees ranging from about $30 to $50. In addition to the course, Highland Woods also features a driving range and clubhouse.
In Hoffman Estates, there's only one place to go for splish-splashing around in the summer sun. The Seascape Aquatic Center (1300 Moon Lake Blvd, 847-310-3626) features a massive swimming pool with a sandy beach, diving boards, and dozens of reclining beach chairs, great for catching some rays. The place was constructed to replicate a beach in every way, and it largely succeeds. It's one of the biggest public swimming pools in the Chicagoland area, featuring a zero depth pool, a 25-yard lap pool, several water slides, and a water playground. You can be sure that as soon as the weather warms up, the Seascape Aquatic Center is the place to be. Individual season passes generally cost about $70, and family passes are offered at a significant discount.
Hoffman Estates boasts some of the best real estate values in the Chicago suburbs. Since it is newer than and not as well-known as many of the neighboring towns, it's not uncommon for homebuyers to find comparable properties here for significantly less than in, say, Schaumburg. If you ask anyone who lives in Hoffman Estates, What characterizes the neighborhoods and general atmosphere of the town? They'll point to the sprawling, grassy lawns and the rows of large, leafy trees that give the region its attractive allure and tell you about the casual nature of Hoffman Estates residents, which provides a sense of community and kinship among locals.
Because Hoffman Estates has only been around since the middle of the 20th century, most of the properties are relatively modern, and many of the homes on the market are new constructions. Several subdivisions have recently emerged with elegant, yet affordable homes springing up along the planned residential streets. As a family community, a good portion of the residences in Hoffman Estates are on the larger side, most with three or more bedrooms. Homes feature attached, two-car garages more often than not, and swimming pools are commonplace in this Chicago suburb.
The small section of older residences in Hoffman Estates is mainly one-story homes, split-levels or ranches with big backyards, attached, one-car garages and beautiful, towering trees shading the property. These houses are found on wide, sidewalk-lined lanes that wind around the subdivisions, offering residents a safe, low-traffic environment to raise kids. The rest of the neighborhoods in Hoffman Estates follow the same layout, with protected residential streets that meander through wooded areas and surrounding the sweeping green expanses of the golf courses. Once you hit the upper $300,000s, homebuyers start to see slightly newer homes (built within the 15-20 years) that have often been upgrades with luxury amenities and modern appliances. But, the true new constructions in Hoffman Estates start in the $400,000s, for the most part, and offer homeowners the best in upmarket amenities, for excellent prices.
In Hoffman Estates, the average sale price for a detached, three-bedroom home is just under $300,000. Four bedroom houses, which are very common, have an average sale price of around $400,000 and five bedrooms or more puts the average price at about $417,000. While this area is generally occupied with detached, single-family homes, there are definitely great condo and townhouse options that will make families, couples or singles feel right at home. Average sale prices for a two-bedroom unit falls in the upper $100,000s and a three-bedroom place will put average prices in the low to mid $200,000s.
Hoffman Estates Residential Real Estate Info for Single-Family Detached Homes
|Average Sale Price 2005-2006||Average # of Days on the Market||Number of Sales 2005-2006||One Year Price Change||Price Change Since 94|
Source: Multiple Listings Service of Northern Illinois
Hoffman Estates doesn't have as many restaurants as some of the other suburbs in the Chicagoland area, but with a brief sampling of the dining landscape, you'll agree that quality trumps quantity. There is a wide variety of different cuisines at the various eateries in Hoffman Estates, running the gamut from fast food to fine dining.
One of the most elegant meals you'll find in Hoffman Estates is at the regional Italian restaurant La Strada (2380 Lakewood Blvd, 847-765-1700). The menu features a pasta menu that includes dishes from every region of Italy, most of which are offered in mammoth portions. The menu is also heavy on meat and seafood, with lamb, steak and veal offerings, as well as salmon, sea scallops, and lobster tails. For a slightly more casual take on Italian cuisine, head over to Amore Mio (1457 Palatine Rd, 847-358-5506). The bill of fare there presents more familiar Italian-American standbys, like meat lasagna, cheese tortellini and ravioli. The non-pasta entr?es include chicken, veal and eggplant parmesan, as well as veal medallions with goat cheese, roast chicken, and several others.
One of the more fashionable restaurants in Hoffman Estates is Dover Straits (1149 W Golf Rd, 847-884-3900), a family-friendly fine dining spot that's heavy on seafood. Favorite orders include the imported Dover sole, the cold water lobster tail, the whole live Maine lobster, and the bouillabaisse Marseillaise. Seafood isn't the only offering at Dover Straits, though; steaks, ribs and pasta are also big sellers, in addition to the magnificently prepared filet mignon. The restaurant also hosts performances of live bands Wednesday through Saturday nights, and large parties are welcome to reserve a private room for special celebrations. And don't worry about bringing the little ones along because a children's menu is available, serving up fried popcorn shrimp, fish strips, and burgers.
Chinese food is also a popular dinner choice in Hoffman Estates, with a handful of different places to choose from. Hunan Beijing (3051 N Barrington Rd, 847-765-7888) has a chic, new location that is touted as the most impressive place in town for Asian cuisine. The restaurant serves classic Chinese fare that will appeal to a variety of tastes. Some of the favorites include spicy orange beef, sesame scallops, spicy Hunan beef, and mu shu chicken. For something a bit different, try Inchin's Bamboo Garden (1004 W Golf Rd, 847-885-3777), which places an emphasis on high-quality fresh ingredients. The dining room is modern and stylish, with high ceilings, yellow walls and large windows. The menu features a balanced mix of meat and vegetarian dishes, as well as spicy and savory.
With Schaumburg's Woodfield Mall (the largest mall in the Chicagoland area) located just a couple of miles down the road, most Hoffman Estates residents take their shopping needs outside of the village. However, there are a few retail shops in town that will save you the hassle of driving out to the mall and having to navigate the endless list of stores. For example, if craft supplies and stationery are what you need, than the best bet is Hoffman Estates' very own All Things Paper (607 E Golf Rd, 847-882-8142). The store offers custom crafts and paper products that include wedding invitations and thank you notes, table cards and menus for events, holiday cards, and just about any other special occasion stationery or card you might want.
There aren't many clothing stores in Hoffman Estates, probably because it's near impossible to compete with the roster of apparel shops at Woodfield Mall, but if you need to rent a tux or get a gown for a wedding or some other special occasion, After Hours Formalwear (1071 W Golf Rd, 847-519-1818) is right here in Hoffman Estates. On the opposite end of the fashion spectrum, Hoffman Estate's destination for outdoor, hunting or hiking attire is Cabela's (5225 Prairie Stone Pkwy, 847-645-0469). These active-wear outfitters also stock camping gear, fishing tackle and rods, and a complete gun library for hunters. Even if you aren't the outdoorsy type, Cabela's has you covered in the cold weather outerwear department with a great selection of sweaters, mittens and gloves, and coats and jackets.
Hoffman Estates isn't the sort of place you necessarily expect to find a vibrant nightlife. which is why it comes as a bit of a surprise the town is host to one of the premier nightclubs on the northwest side. Antro VIP (1001 N Roselle Rd, 773-935-9111) was formerly known as Tower Night Club, and it's one of the most popular dance clubs around. The party gets started at 10 pm on Friday nights and the place typically features a professional DJ spinning electronic dance music, hip-hop, and a variety of Latin tunes. There are three separate dance floors, and people usually wear color-coded glowsticks to indicate they are single, taken, or "don't know." Just be sure to dress the part when heading out to this super-hip club because anyone wearing gym shoes or baggy clothes are often denied entrance.
Antro VIP isn't the only joint in Hoffman Estates where you can get your groove on, though. The town's other major bar and nightclub, America's Bar (2308 W Higgins Rd, 847-882-8600), also has a large space for dancing the night away, although it doesn't bill itself as an exclusive dance club like Antro. Instead, the large, upscale bar offers excellent food, dueling piano performances, and lots of dance music. There's also a good-sized outdoor patio with enough space to seat 60. As one of the most popular after-hours spots in Hoffman Estates, the place tends to get pretty busy on the weekends, but the service is always prompt, and the management is very accommodating to parties.
If dancing isn't your scene and you're just looking to grab a beer and watch the game with some friends, your best bet in Hoffman Estates is going to be the Neighborhood Inn Bar and Grill (2322 Hassell Rd, 837-843-8048). The Inn likes to "do it up" for holidays with fun decorations, karaoke, and drink specials. And, for smokers, the bar has set up a smoke shop with ventilation system, which makes it legal for smokers to light up indoors (in spite of the statewide ban), provided that they stay at least 30 feet from the bar and put out those butts by 9 pm during the week and 1am on Thursdays and weekends.
Hoffman Estates doesn't have its own movie theatre - for that, you can just head over to the Woodfield Mall - but it does have a large performance space in the Sears Centre (5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy, 847-649-2222), an 11,000-seat arena that occasionally hosts musical performances. Before Sears took over the site, it was home to the Poplar Creek Music Theatre, an amphitheater where folks could come to enjoy outdoor music concerts. In 1994, Sears began the process of converting the land into an indoor arena, which now serves as the home of the Chicago Storm soccer team, the Chicago Shamrox lacrosse team, and the Chicago Slaughter arena football team.
If the town's annual Fourth of July celebration can serve as any indication, you'd guess Hoffman Estates residents take our country's independence pretty seriously. Around here, observance of the holiday is usually extended to a week-long festival, beginning the Friday before the 4th with a carnival, bingo, and live music. The week's events also include an arts and crafts fair at the intersection of Gannon and Golf roads, a judged cook-off, a children's bike parade, a soap box derby, a petting zoo, and a handful of free concerts.
The other Hoffman Estates tradition locals look forward to in the summer is the Summer Sounds on the Green (847-781-2660) music series. It takes place in the amphitheatre at the Virginia Mary Hayter Village Green on Prairie Stone Parkway. The music series generally includes six or seven different performances, which begin in early July and run through mid August, with music styles that range from classic rock to big band jazz to country. Just be sure to bring a blanket or a lawn chair, as seating is not provided.
Hoffman Estates boasts some excellent real estate, parks and public works, but a big deciding factor for families when considering whether or not to make the move is whether the area has good educational programs and facilities for their children. Hoffman Estates schools - both public and private - are some of the best in the Chicagoland area. Hoffman Estates High School has more than 2,000 students, making it one of the larger high schools in the area. It features state-of-the-art facilities, an excellent student to teacher ratio, and a wide variety of extracurricular activities to choose from.
- Douglas MacArthur Elementary School - 615 Lakeview Ln - (847) 257-6600
- Dwight D Eisenhower Junior High School - 800 W Hassell Rd - (847) 357-5500
- Fairview Elementary School - 375 Arizona Blvd - (847) 357-5700
- Frank Whiteley Elementary School - 4335 Haman Ave - (847) 963-7200
- Hoffman Estates High School - 1100 W Higgins Rd - (847) 755-5610
- John Muir Literacy Academy - 1973 N Kensington Ln - (847) 357-6444
- JB Conant High School - 700 E Cougar Trl - (847) 755-3610
- Lakeview Elementary School - 615 Lakeview Ln - (847) 357-6600
- Lincoln Prairie School - 500 Hillcrest Blvd - (847) 357-5955
- Neil Armstrong Elementary School - 1320 Kingsdale Rd - (847) 357-6700
- St. Hubert School - 255 Flagstaff Ln - (847) 885-7702
- Thomas Jefferson Elementary School - 3805 Winston Dr - (847) 963-5400
- Apple Villa II 3101 N Barrington Rd (847) 765-2000
- Assembly American Bar & Caf? - 2570 Hassell Rd - (847) 843-3993
- Claim Jumper Restaurant - 2610 Sutton Rd - (847) 645-6400
- Dover Straits - 1149 W Golf Rd - (847) 884-3900
- Great American Grill - (847) 277-2889 2425
- Golden Chopsticks - 2336 W Higgins Rd - (847) 843-2336
- Hunan Beijing - 3051 N Barrington Rd - (847) 765-7888
- Inchin's Bamboo Garden - 1004 W Golf Rd - (847) 885-3777
- Lily Garden Restaurant - 1752 W Algonquin Rd - (847) 202-8048
- Amore Mio Restaurant - 1457 Palatine Rd - (847) 358-5506
- La Strada Ristorante - 2380 Lakewood Blvd - (847) 765-1700
- Ritchie's Caf? Clemenza - 1766 Algonquin Rd - (847) 358-3391
- Domino's Pizza - 1049 W Golf Rd - (847) 519-0411
- Garibaldi's Italian Eatery - 2346 W Higgins Rd - (847) 884-8663
- Jersey's Pizza & Grill - 2360 Lakewood Blvd - (847) 765-0085
- Sir Nick's Pizza - 1441 Palatine Rd - (847) 202-5555
- American's Bar - 2308 W Higgins Rd - (847) 2882-8600
- Neighborhood Inn Bar and Grill - 2322 Hassell Rd - (837) 843-8048
- Sears Centre 5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy (847) 649-2222
- Summer Sounds on the Green - Virginia Mary Hayter Village Green, Prairie Stone Pkwy - (847) 781-2660
- Highland Woods Golf Course - 2775 Ela Rd - (847) 359-5850
- Hilldale Golf Club - 1625 Ardwick Dr - (847) 310-1100
- Poplar Creek Country Club - 1400 Poplar Creek Dr - (847) 781-3681
- Jewel-Osco - 1485 Palatine Rd - (847) 202-0586
- Shree Ganesh Foods - 1764 W Algonquin Rd - (847) 934-8699
- Curves for Women - 1730 W Algonquin Rd - (847) 241-5550
- Multiform Fitness - 1588 Algonquin Rd - (847) 358-8700
- Prairie Stone Sports & Wellness center - 5050 Sedge Blvd - (847) 645-1900
- Schaumburg Township District Library - 1550 Hassell Rd - (847) 885-3511
- Willow Park - Lexington Dr - (847) 885-7500
- Jewel-Osco - 1485 Palatine Rd - (847) 202-0586
- Walgreens - 1000 N Roselle Rd - (847) 622-8112
- After Hours Formalwear- 1071 W Golf Rd - (847) 519-1818
- All Things Paper - 607 E Golf Rd - (847) 882-8142
- Cabela's - 5225 Prairie Stone Pkwy - (847) 645-0469
- Grants Appliance, TV & Audio - 400 W Higgins Rd - (847) 310-1881
- PartyLite Candles & Gifts - 881 Ford Ave - (847) 542-2113
- Sears - 3333 Beverly Rd - (847) 286-2500
- Styx and Stonz - 1758 W Algonquin Rd - (847) 358-9975
- Upscale Dollar Plus & Gifts - 24-25 Golf Center Rd - (847) 885-1995