The History of University Park
University Park began in 1960 as the Wood Hill residential development with a cluster of single-family homes near the intersection of Western and Exchange. In 1967, it was incorporated as a Village. The Village was designated a "New Town" under the New Communities Act of 1968 of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 1971, $30,000,000 in financing was released by HUD to the Park Forest South Development Corporation and New Community Enterprises which began a program of land acquisition, public improvements and private construction. Development fell far short of projections because of a number of economic factors and changes in Federal policy. In 1977, HUD accepted from the developers, in lieu of foreclosure, 2100 acres and the Utilities Village. These properties were held in trust by HUD until sold to private developers in 1982.
University Park has a Village Board/Manager form of government adopted by a referendum in 1973 and Home Rule powers in 1975. The Village Board is made up of a Village President and six members of the Board of Trustees elected at large, on a nonpartisan basis for two year overlapping terms. The President and Board of Trustees hire the Village Manager, set policy, approve the budget, and determine tax rates. The Manager serves as the Board's chief advisor, hires the staff, and sees to it that the Boards' programs are carried out.
The Village contains approximately 12.5 square miles of area and has a rapidly expanding industrial park with significant room for growth. Governors State University, covering 75.3 acres, is located in the Village. It is a "commuter" university with no dormitory facilities.
On January 24, 1984 the Village's name was changed from Park Forest to Village of University Park.