Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.


In August of 1965 Hoffman Estates annexed 3,700 acres bounded by Barrington on the east and Sutton Rd  (Rt 59) on the west with Bode Rd on the south and Interstate 90 on the north.  The land was purchased by the Rossmoor Corporation of California who had plans to develop the area into a 50,000 resident senior complex with a huge shopping center that would be the largest in the northwest suburbs.

Mayor Jenkins and the village trustees were looking forward to the taxes that would be generated by the huge project.

Rossmoor had financial problems in 1966 that prevented the corporation from moving forward with their plans.  They had already built a sales office on the north side of Golf Rd. west of Barrington Rd. The building is still there. For a time it was a newspaper distribution site.  They also had a sales trailer located at the Hoffman Plaza parking lot.

Rossmoor Corporation has been very successful with senior retirement communities throughout the country.  The majority of their communities are in California.  There are other senior communities in Arizona, Marilyn and New Jersey.

If the Leisure World project would’ve gone forward it would have made a big difference in the growth of our village.  Hoffman Estates was not happy about the loss of the 3,700 acres.  It had always been planned for development to increase the village tax base.   Due to its failure, we gained forest preserve land which is more than any other town in Illinois has within its boundaries.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian

The photo of the building is used courtesy of Google Maps. 

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