South Elgin Real Estate
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Down the Fox River from Elgin proper, South Elgin is a scenic suburban village about 40 miles from Chicago. The Kane County community has approximately 21,000 residents and is a fully developed bed of businesses, educational facilities, recreation opportunities, neighborhood life and natural beauty.
The first European-descended inhabitants of South Elgin arrived in the early 1800s, after Native American tribes vacated the territory. What would later become a sizeable, self-sufficient village started out as merely a small farming settlement with a remote train depot outside Chicago's ever-expanding urban center. The rural hamlet evolved over the years into a thriving Illinois community with a strong admiration for its picturesque locale and deep-seated history.
Taking advantage of the lush Fox River Valley, downtown South Elgin is flanked by grass-lined riverbanks, paved bike and jogging paths, and shady public picnic areas. A major, decade-long development boom that began in the latter half of the 1990s resulted in significant residential and commercial expansion for South Elgin. Several roomy, beautifully landscaped subdivisions with winding residential lanes were constructed. This added a variety of new properties to the mix of century-old homes, 1960s split-levels, raised ranches, traditional two-story houses and multiunit condo buildings. The new neighborhoods brought a multitude of townhouse complexes, single-family home developments and some luxury properties to the South Elgin real estate market.
An extensive commercial district emerged along Randall Road, on the village's southwest side. The retail center is anchored by a quartet of national big box stores: Home Depot, Best Buy, Staples and Petsmart. You'll also find the usual lineup of fast-food chains along this corridor as well as a number of sit-down restaurants and themed eateries.
Ongoing renewal efforts by South Elgin's village boards continue to reshape the community with new commercial outlets, an active industrial base, plans for downtown revitalization and even more residential developments.
South Elgin's river valley setting provides a number of lovely outdoor recreation spots that cater to all sorts of interests and leisure activities. There are over two dozen official parks and recreation areas in this Chicago suburb. They are maintained by the village and provide local residents with loads of outside diversion and exercise.
Fishing is quite popular in South Elgin and it is not uncommon to see a few poles cast near the dam at Panton Mill Park, right across from City Hall. Panton Mill is just a simple patch of green, about five acres in size, with a few picnic tables, restrooms, and some great vantage points for reeling in the Big One. SEBA Park is also located in downtown South Elgin on the riverfront. This 1.35-acre neighborhood park has grills and picnicking areas, plus a playground for little South Elginers and a nature trail that the whole family (including the furry, four-legged members) will love. For a few sporting options, Concord Park is a good bet. It is equipped with baseball and soccer fields, basketball and sand volleyball courts, a concession stand and sheltered picnic pavilion. Disc golf fans can enjoy a game on the riverside course, which meanders through three separate parks (County, SEBA and Panton Mill).
There are miles of paved bikeways running through wooded sections of Kane County Forest Preserve and Blackhawk Park on the southern edge of the village. Skirting from deep forest terrain to shaded riverside sidewalks, a ride along these trails is never monotonous and always breathtaking. Hiking paths through these parts lead to hidden woodland coves and a delightful historic waterfall. Blackhawk Park also has a public boat launch so residents with watercrafts can easily drop their vessels into the Fox River for fishing excursions and other freshwater adventures, such as canoeing and kayaking.
The Chicago suburb of South Elgin is a typical Midwestern community that expanded out from a riverfront town center. There are more traditional neighborhoods closer in to the downtown and sprawling planned subdivisions on the outskirts of the village. No matter where you look, the homes in South Elgin rest on large, grass-covered lots surrounded by mature vegetation, thick tree perimeters and, in many cases, healthy forest preserves. Some properties lie directly on the banks of the Fox, affording a tranquil, private riverside retreat for the lucky homeowners who snag a coveted plot of land with water rights.
The real estate in South Elgin's residential zones provides a wealth of housing types and price ranges. Detached single-family residences start in the low $100,000s and can reach to luxury market values. The higher-end homes are custom designed estates with prime locations next to protected woodland. Floor plans include all the top-notch amenities and finishes, and the lot may even feature an in-ground pool. The majority of South Elgin houses are two-, three- and four-bedroom places with an assortment of architectural styles and layouts. For the most part, detached homes up for sale here were built within the last 25 years and have attached garages, finished basements and nice interior appointments.
There are several new construction townhome developments in South Elgin that offer buyers attractive alternatives to owning a private house with a yard to keep up. The living spaces are all modern and many complexes have great community amenities like clubhouses, swimming pools, tennis courts and access to the river. Cambridge Bluffs is a 70+ unit complex facing the Fox River; River Place Townhomes is a smaller development that also touts great views; and Raymond Square Townhomes is an intimate 21-unit subdivision on the east side of the Fox. There are a number of newly established residential areas that offer a mixture of townhouses and single-family homes, too.
South Elgin 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
In accordance with South Elgin's extreme growth spurt over the last decade, the village's restaurant scene has experienced a noticeable shot in the arm from national chain eateries and classic American dining staples. The Randall Road commercial corridor has its fair share of fast-food joints (McDonald's, Subway, Chipotle, Taco Bell, Panera's, etc), however, there is also a selection of local establishments and family-oriented restaurants scattered throughout the suburb that satisfy the host of South Elgin diners.
For many Chicago area residents, it's essential to find that special pizzeria you know you can count on for a delicious slice of homemade goodness. In South Elgin, you have your choice of local favorites, such as Nancy's, Rosati's, Aurelio's, Giordano's, Pizza Cucina, and even Pizza Hut. Of course everyone you ask will give you a different take on which one has the best piece of 'za, but we're always fans of the authentic homespun mainstays so we recommend getting a bite from Nancy's Pizza (1277 West Spring, 847-488-9555). Nancy's is an Illinois institution that was started by a couple from Turin, Italy. They are known for their 2½-inch-thick stuffed pizza, but you can get a "lighter" version of the original by ordering the 1½-inch pie. To appease the hungry masses, Nancy's also sports a full menu of other tasty dishes and sides. Pizza Cucina (325 Randall Rd, 847-742-0222) only has four locations, and we're glad one of them is in the midst of the Randall Road restaurant strip. This Italian kitchen serves up a variety of pasta creations, plus a delectable calzone, hearty subs and four styles of pizzas. Get flaky thin crust, hand-rolled double dough, buttery pan pizza, or dual-layered stuffed - all prepared with Cucina's own homemade sauce. And don't forget to save room for a traditional Italian dessert of tiramisu, cannoli or Italian ice.
Fast food and pizza aren't the only things to eat in South Elgin. You can quell your craving for sushi at Jurin Japanese (588 Randall Rd, 847-488-1290). Great tasting, inexpensive rolls and attentive, swift servers make for a good meal every time. Fancy a European-inspired feast? The Village Squire (480 Randall Rd, 847-931-0400) is a medieval-looking tavern and grill with a hodgepodge of specialties, including fresh fish, gyros, Reuben sandwiches, charbroiled steaks, hamburgers, flaming saganaki and a long list of wine, beer and other house beverages. Breakfast and brunch in South Elgin are covered by Randall's Pancake House and Restaurant (305 Randall Rd, 847-628-6256), a no-frills independent haunt with excellent pancakes, big portions (we're talking flapjacks the size of a pizza!) and quick service.
In South Elgin, dining and drinking come together at Blu Razz (558 Randall Rd, 847-468-0500). This swanky upscale restaurant and lounge is the "go to" for an evening out on the town. The 500-gallon, aqua-marine saltwater fish tank sets the tone for an ultra-cool hotspot that draws in partiers with elaborate appetizers, dessert-flavored martinis and danceable tunes. Located in downtown South Elgin, Last Shot Bar and Grill (812 N La Fox St, 847-695-5781) is a fun neighborhood watering hole with good pub grub, strong drinks, dart boards, pool tables, karaoke nights, and patrons lined up at the bar to take that token "last shot" of the night.