• JSO Valuation, Ltd.,

Community Spotlight Archive - Northbrook

Updated: Apr 21, 2019

Northbrook is located approximately 23 miles north of the Loop and approximately eight miles northeast of the Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Northbrook is surrounded by Glenview to the south; Northfield, Glencoe, and Winnetka to the east, Deerfield - which is in Lake County - to the north, and Wheeling to the west. Northbrook covers approximately 12.9 square miles.


For the most part, the Chicago metropolitan area is flat and in many cases, community boundaries can be relatively arbitrary. They tend to wrap around large land uses such as a cemetery, or stop at the lake, a canal, a river, a railroad track, or follow a main road or section street. For the Northbrook community, Lake County demarcates the northern border. The eastern and western borders are formed by two highways - Interstate 294 and Interstate 94; also on the western boundary there is a large forest preserve that wraps around the North Branch of the Des Plaines River. The southern portion and a part of the western portion of the village contain patchwork boundaries due to some annexing over the years.

The construction in 1952 of the Edens Expressway (Interstate 94), which provided convenient transportation from the northern suburbs to Chicago, began a period of rapid growth for the village, which continued through the late 1970s. By the late 1970s the availability of land for development started to decline, and while overall growth slowed, industrial development continued. Northbrook is today the home of several major corporate headquarters, and recently over 2,000,000 square feet of additional office space has been added.

Because of the early establishment and enforcement of zoning plans in Northbrook, residential and industrial areas have been kept intact, and there are relatively few mixed use areas.


The Village of Northbrook experienced a 0.8% decrease in population, from 33,435 in 2000 to 33,170 in 2010. Wheeling had the largest percentage increase at 9.1%. Glenview had the largest population base at 44,692, up from 41,847 in 2000. All of these changes are consistent with stable communities.

The median age in Illinois is 42.2-years while in Northbrook it is 48-years old. In Rolling Meadows it is lower at 37.5-years (the lower age here is matched with a lower household income – more children). The age in Northfield is 48.6-years.

There are 12,492 households of an average population of 2.66 per household as against 2.73 in Skokie and 2.9 in Glencoe. In Wheeling it is also 2.9 persons per household.

The table below highlights the population changes between 2000 and 2010 in Northbrook and the surrounding communities:


The Village of Northbrook and its surrounding communities all have upper-income households with the sole exception of Wheeling. Glencoe has the highest per capita income at $104,919 and Wheeling has the lowest at $26,698. Northbrook is at the lower end of the range at $57,619. The median household income in Northbrook is $112,827 as against $53,966 for the State. In Rolling Meadows it is $56,189 and the Northfield the household income is $106,047.


Cook County had an increase in employment of 33,465 (+1.7%) from March 2010 to March 2011. The City of Chicago had an increase in employment of 23,045 (+2.3%). Industry sectors with the biggest employment increases in the county during that time period were Administrative & Support, Waste Management & Remediation Services Health Care & Social Assistance being the top three.

The following table highlights six areas of comparability: Construction, Manufacturing, Wholesale Retail, Finance and Health. Surprisingly enough, Northbrook mirrors Cook County closely in most areas. 15% of the employment is in Health in Cook County as against 7% in Northbrook. Except for Skokie, a collar suburb with an older population, the other sample towns are much lower. In Finance, the countywide jobs are 7%. Northbrook is closest at 5% (large concentration of office building along Lake-Cook Road and Skokie Valley Road). The other towns are much lower.

Countywide jobs in Retailing are at 11%. Skokie is also at 11% anchored by Old Orchard Mall and surrounding the shopping centers. Northbrook with Northbrook Court is at 8%. The other towns are much less.

When it comes to Construction, Manufacturing and Wholesale, 17% of the positions are county wide. In manufacturing alone, Wheeling accounts for 18% of their work force. Except for Northfield, the different villages hold their own.


Illinois unemployment rate is holding at 9%, with towns like Rockford (12.8%) and Kankakee (15.4%) having more difficulty than most in attracting jobs back. In the locally profiled communities Northbrook has the lowest unemployment rate.

Largest Employers, courtesy of NorthbrookChamber.org

Allstate Insurance Company – 7,000 Crate & Barrel – 530 Highland Baking – 530 Nestle Pizza Division – 200 Northbrook Court – 1,100 Potash Corp – 200 Underwriters Laboratories – 2,000 United Parcel Service (UPS) – 800 Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates – 500


Northbrook Court is a two level super-regional mall that first opened in 1976. It is located along the south side of Lake-Cook Road. The mall is positioned as an upscale shopping center. It is located on 130-acres and its three current anchor stores are Lord & Taylor, Macy's, and Neiman Marcus. The gross leasable area including the anchors is 1,017,066-square feet. Of this over 350,000-square feet is for general retailing. There is also a 14-screen movie theatre, as well as a freestanding Crate & Barrel.

There are several other community and regional centers all over 100,000-square feet such as Northbrook Meadows (116,000-SF), Sanders Court (136,000-SF), Village Square of Northbrook (344,200-SF) and Dunbrook Court (125,000-SF) to mention a few.


Northbrook is located between the Tri-State Tollway (Interstate 294), which provides transportation to the suburbs, and the Edens Expressway (Interstate 94), which provides transportation to Chicago’s Loop. Driving time to the Loop is approximately 30 minutes, and driving time to O’Hare International Airport (southwest of the subject) is said to be about 20 minutes.

Commuters can also reach the Loop via the Chicago and Northwestern Metra railroad, which has a Northbrook station on the Milwaukee District North Line out of Union Station. Bus transportation is available throughout the district (RTA). The Metra line and train station is in downtown Northbrook.

Recent Developments

Nestle USA, located its Pizza Division’s national headquarters into the old Plunket furniture store and Dundee Road and Interstate 94. This $15 million facility will employ 168 people with an average annual salary of $110,000 and a reported total annual payroll of $18.5 million.

Astellas Pharma located in Deerfield constructed its new North American Headquarters on Willow Road adjacent to the Tollway on a section of the former Culligan property.


Northbrook is a developed community, which has experienced significant growth over the last 30 years. The community has a good balance of industrial, commercial and residential development and these areas are well located through a comprehensive zoning plan. It is our opinion that based on the commercial amenities, transportation facilities and employment opportunities in this community, property values should stabilize and it will continue to be a stable community for the foreseeable future.

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