Crystal Lake is the Clear Leader

City of Crystal Lake

When you are looking for new locations for your restaurant, finding the right location is all about the strong demographics, high visibility and a track record of success. In the Chicagoland area, Crystal Lake is the clear leader.

A thriving community in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs, Crystal Lake sits 35 miles away from O’Hare International Airport with a population of 40,000, the largest community in McHenry County.

Crystal Lake continues to catch the attention of developers and businesses. Year over year, the market in Crystal Lake expands, as the city welcomes new investment, and reinvestment, in multiple shopping centers, commercial corridors, and new sites with retail, restaurant, healthcare and housing. In 2024, there are two new key development opportunities for restaurants and retail looking to enter the Crystal Lake market. The new Water’s Edge mixed-use development offers restaurant operators a high impact opportunity at 4419 US Route 14, a 3.6-acre property located at the crossroads of key commercial corridors with significant visibility on both Route 31 and Route 14.

Last year, residents and visitors spent more than $147 million at restaurants in Crystal Lake, and according to the Department of Revenue, Crystal Lake had more than $1.4 billion in retail sales placing it as a top 20 community for Chicagoland metropolitan area retail sales. A strong mix of regional and national chains recently opened in Crystal Lake, including Raising Canes, Guzman y Gomez, Crumbl Cookies, McAllisters Deli, Summer Moon Coffee and Rookies All American Pub and Grill, alongside regional and national retailers such as Boot Barn, Banfield Pet Hospital, Hallmark and Ollie's Bargain Outlet.

In concert with the city’s commercial success, its housing industry is also expanding with over 1,000 housing units approved for construction. Crystal Lake offers a variety of housing types ranging from single family homes to apartments and townhomes. Recent developments include the Enclave, a 99-unit development with townhomes and apartments, Redwood a 304-unit ranch-style townhome community, Clover Communities a 121-unit age-restricted independent living apartment complex, and Woodlore Townes a new 47-unit townhome community.

Water’s Edge, a 30-acre mixed-use redevelopment project with construction underway is drawing the attention of major developers and businesses. Developed by Heartland Real Estate Partners, Water’s Edge will transform an old shopping center into a new and vibrant community comprised of 240 apartments, 20 rental townhomes, and a hotel. The area offers 52,000-square feet of commercial space for restaurants and entertainment to meet the demand Crystal Lake sees for commercial property along Northwest Highway. Water’s Edge is located right off Route 14 and is next to Three Oaks Recreation Area and making it the perfect new project in the community.

Crystal Lake continues to grow because it remains full of energy and opportunities. The city is home to two of the best public school systems in the region, Elementary School District 47 and Community High School District 155. Crystal Lake has become a go-to destination for healthcare represented by three major brands: Advocate Health Care, Northwestern Medicine, and Mercyhealth’s new hospital that opened last year. For continuing education, McHenry County College located in Crystal Lake, is known for its culinary and food-service programs.

Crystal Lake is one of McHenry County’s fastest-growing and largest communities, and it’s no secret that it will continue to flourish with new developments, housing, and commercial opportunities. Mayor of Crystal Lake and local business owner, Haig Haleblian says “Crystal Lake is known as a leader in the Northwest suburbs and the city’s pro-business approach makes it easy to move your business here”.

Crystal Lake is the Clear Leader. The City is always looking to attract new restaurants and retailers. If you are interested in learning more about available opportunities including Water’s Edge, visit or contact the City of Crystal Lake at (815) 356-3737 or via email at

This post is sponsored by City Of Crystal Lake


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