Lake Villa, Illinois

Lake Villa is a welcoming, family-friendly community that is home to pristine lakes, parks, and open space. A variety of housing – from historic roots to modern development – provides options for home-seekers looking for different types of housing. Walkable neighborhoods with easy access to trails, open space and amenities are preferences people value today. Recreation, entertainment, and local stores provide a small-town charm combined with contemporary services. From seasonal events to a wide range of sports brings the community together as well as welcoming visitors. Its neighborly atmosphere combines a business-friendly approach that welcomes innovation and community investment.

Community Summary

Lake Villa, Illinois

Lake Villa is a community of 8,741 residents located in Lake County, Illinois, 39 miles north of O’Hare International Airport in the City of Chicago and 47 miles south of General Mitchell Field in the City of Milwaukee. It is known both for the lakes within the Village (Cedar Lake, Deep Lake and Sun Lake) as well as “gateway to the Chain O’Lakes” just to the west. Primarily a residential community, it has a historic and growing downtown in the triangle formed by Cedar Ave., Milwaukee Ave. (Rte. 83) and Grand Ave. (Rte. 132), anchored by a Metra Station, the North Central Service (NCS) line and Lehmann Park along Cedar Lake.

The Village was first settled in 1883 by E.J. Lehmann, founder of the Fair Department Store on State Street in Chicago.1 He bought land between Cedar Lake and Deep Lake and built a private resort with a 150-room hotel, with a train station on the Wisconsin Central Railroad. Edward Bradley bought land in 1897 that would become Allendale Farm, later renamed Allendale School, and is now known as Allendale Association, a not-for-profit organization providing care, treatment and education for children and youth.

Much of the growth in the Village has been the result of suburban residential development, such as Painted Lakes and Oakwood Ridge off Grass Lake Rd., Sedgewood off Deep Lake Rd. and Winddance Valley off of North Cedar Lake Rd., along with attached housing and rental developments such as The Sanctuary, located on Grand Ave. (Rte. 132).

Meanwhile, there has been a renewed focus in the Downtown area. The Village adopted the Lake Villa Downtown TOD Plan as an element of the Village’s Comprehensive Plan in 2013. The plan laid out a series of goals to attract new retail, housing, and mixed-use development to the downtown, a series of transportation recommendations to make it more walkable, bikeable, and recommended efforts to build on the recreation strengths of the Village.

Since then, a downtown Tax Increment Financing and Business District have been created. New businesses have opened, additional parking, signage and streetscape improvements have been made, and additional development is in process.