Economic Development Opportunities

Be a part of our vibrant local economy! Wauconda is home to a mix of businesses, from corporate and manufacturing headquarters in a booming business park, to national retailers along busy state highways, to locally owned small businesses in a thriving downtown. With a welcoming attitude from the Village of Wauconda, enthusiastic local residents and an active Chamber of Commerce, you’ll find that Wauconda is OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Wauconda has four distinct commercial areas: Downtown Wauconda, Rt 176, the business parks and Rt 12 (Rand Road). To learn more about opportunities in any of the commercial areas, contact Community Development Director Greg Anderson or Village Administrator Allison Matson.

Drone Image of Wauconda Cruise Night 2019Downtown Wauconda: The heart of Wauconda is Main Street, located along the shores of beautiful Bangs Lake. For more than 100 years, residents and visitors have found locally owned restaurants, bars and shopping, in addition to professional offices. Visitors can start their day with morning buzz at Honey Hill Coffee Company, or with baked goods from Whisk Bakery and Coffee or Lots-a-Knots. Silver Lotus Yoga offers mind-body wellness and visitors can spend a day walking through shops like Mis Plantitas, Wauconda Apothecary, Hometown Gifts, Threads Boutique, Whippletree Antiques or At The Green Bench. Food and drink options abound at Main Street Outfitters, The Sidelot, Slyce Coal Fired Pizza, Lindy’s Landing, Main St Tacos, Strawberry Moon, The Village Inn and Bliss Wine & Gifts. There’s always room for dessert at Dairy Queen and My Flavor It Place. The Village welcomes inquiries from developers interested in building more retail and residential properties in and around the downtown.

Route 176:
Rt 176 is a major east-west corridor in Central Lake County, connecting Lake Bluff to Crystal Lake. Both outlot and redevelopment opportunities exist on this corridor. National and regional retailers find success along Rt 176 in Wauconda, as the corridor provides easy access to and from Rt 12. Retailers include Walgreens, Tractor Supply Company Jewel-Osco, Dollar Tree, Advance Auto Parts, Pet Supplies Plus and Ace Hardware. The corridor is also home to quick serve restaurants like McDonald’s, Jimmy John’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, Subway and more! Locally owned businesses like Honeybella Pancakes and Café, La Michoacana Ice Cream, Burrito Express, 3 Amigas Grocery, Uncle D’s, and Guy’s Gyros also thrive along this corridor. The Village’s only TIF district has frontage on the south side of Rt 176. Learn more about the TIF here. The Village of Wauconda works with The Retail Coach to identify prospective retailers and provide data. Find market and demographic data here.

IMG_2778 - Copy (2)Wauconda Business Parks:
Wauconda’s business parks are home to manufacturing, business services, distribution centers, research centers and more! With convenient access to Rt 12 and an easy drive to both O’Hare and Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, it’s no wonder that the Village of Wauconda has so many long-standing businesses like Berger Excavating, Mid-American Water & Sewer, Fidelitone and Synergy Flavors.  Contact the Village of Wauconda to learn more about vacant parcels.

Route 12:

As a major north-south state road, Rt 12 provides access from Rt 53 to Wisconsin. The construction supply and equipment dealerships along Rt 12 serve businesses around Lake, Cook and McHenry Counties. The Village of Wauconda recently adopted an economic development strategy focused on recruiting similar businesses to Rt 12. Both infill and redevelopment opportunities exist on this corridor. Join industry leaders like Altorfer CAT, West Side Tractor, McCann Equipment, Beacon Building Supply, Victor Ford, Atlas Bobcat and more!

The Village of Wauconda established its first Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district in 2013.
The Village of Wauconda’s Tax Increment Financing District (TIF) is in place and ready for developers to bring appropriate development projects forward. Find more information on the TIF here.

Examples of Economic Incentives

The Village of Wauconda believes that local businesses are a valuable and important part of our community, and Wauconda welcomes opportunities for business growth and development. Projects eligible for economic development incentives are those projects centered on business attraction, retention, expansion or modernization. For more information or to discuss a proposal, please contact Greg Anderson.

Requests for economic incentives will be considered on a case-by-case basis based on the merits of the individual proposal. Incentives are a tool to encourage and maintain quality development in the Village and should be used in the best interest of the community by providing long-term value. The impacts on all stakeholders will be considered before the Village approves or denies the request. 

Examples of incentives offered by the Village include:
  • Tractor Supply – The Village of Wauconda entered into a sales tax rebate agreement with Tractor Supply Company.
  • Façade Improvement Program  - The Village of Wauconda’s Façade Improvement program supports exterior improvements to private commercial property. Since 2021, the Village has approved ** façade improvement grants. To apply, visit the program webpage here.
  • Monster Powersports – In order to offset the cost of making improvements required by the building code, the Village holds a portion of sales tax in an escrow account to reimburse the property owner when the required improvements are completed.