A new corporate campus in West Dundee soon could be woven into the legacy of the Canterfield property and the esteemed family who owns it.
Light industrial, office and manufacturing buildings, some with views of the Fox River and a nearby wildlife preserve, are included in a master plan for 157 acres of farmland along the Route 31 corridor on the village's far south side.
Pedestrian, equestrian and bicycle trail systems and natural areas will be integrated into the development, giving a "parklike ambience" to what will be known as the Canterfield Corporate Campus, said David Haigh, executive vice president for the NAI Hiffman real estate firm.
The site makes up a portion of the Haeger Estes family estate, purchased in 1945 by the second- and third-generation owners of East Dundee's iconic Haeger Potteries. The plant closed in 2016 due to changing market conditions and foreign competition, said former President Lexy Haeger Estes, great-granddaughter of its founder.
With the Canterfield house and property still in the family, Haeger Estes and her husband, Craig Zachrich, have started portioning off some of their hundreds of acres of farmland for development purposes. A single-family neighborhood was constructed in 1995, and the Villages at Canterfield community was built a decade later, Zachrich said. A few years ago, another piece of the property was sold to developers of the Springs at Canterfield apartments.
The Canterfield Corporate Campus aims to complement those residences, while also serving as a transition between the area's natural features and an adjacent business park in Elgin. The idea is to create a "live, work, play" environment, Zachrich said, with appealing amenities and architecture that fits with the character of West Dundee.
"Our goal is to have something that has significance forever because that's the way (Haeger Industries) looks at things," he said. "This is not a typical industrial park. This is really a campus."
The corporate campus will take up the far south portion of roughly 430 acres of remaining farmland belonging to the Haeger Estes family. The north end of their estate, just beyond the Boncosky Road and Route 31 intersection, includes a main house and adjacent horse farm, which will remain in the family, Lexy Haeger Estes said.
Prepared by Heitman Architects and Manhard Engineering, the phased master plan shows 14 pads available for development. While most business parks typically have one overseeing development group, Canterfield's ownership structure allows individual companies to buy and develop their own sites, creating "a little bit of an ecosystem," said Haigh, whose firm is marketing the campus.
The land is zoned as a special development district, offering flexibility in terms of potential land uses and development, said Tim Scott, West Dundee's community development director. Given its proximity to Interstate 90 and adjacent uses, he said, the property is an "advantageous location" for a corporate campus.
"The owners' and village's aspirations are high for this area," Scott said. "Being mindful of how the pieces fit together is of the utmost importance."
The Haeger Estes family and its partners are taking their time in choosing the best and most appropriate mix of uses, Zachrich said, so they don't have a particular timeline in mind for development. Property owners intend to work with West Dundee to offer tax increment financing incentives to incoming corporations.
"It's a family kind of effort," Haeger Estes said. "Hopefully we have shown through the other Canterfield projects that have occurred already that what we intend to continue is integrity within the community."