Tesla Dealership Proposed For Buffalo Grove's Dundee Road TIF District

The developer discussed plans for Tesla, as well as retail and housing, at the former Rohrman car dealership site with the Village Board.

BUFFALO GROVE, IL — For over a decade, the site of a former Rohrman auto dealership has sat vacant on Dundee Road. That's all about to change with Monday night's announcement that a Tesla dealership is set to become the first project in a new Tax Increment Financing District along the corridor.


Associated Bank Provides $26.7 Million Acquisition Loan for Market Meadows Shopping Center in Suburban Chicago

Jewel anchors Market Meadows Shopping Center, a 148,700-square-foot retail property located in the Western Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois.

Naperville, Ill. — Associated Bank has provided a $26.7 million loan to Shorewood Development Group for the acquisition and revitalization of Market Meadows Shopping Center, a 148,700-square-foot, multi-tenant retail property located at 1201 S. Naper Blvd. in the Western Chicago suburb of Naperville. Tenants at the center include Jewel, US Bank, McDonald’s and T-Mobile. New leases have been signed for the property with Chipotle Mexican Grill, BMO, Jersey Mike’s, Big Blue Swim School and Delta Life Fitness. Daniel Barrins of Associated Bank’s Commercial Real Estate group handled loan arrangements and closing.


Mid-America Real Estate Arranges Sale of Market Meadows in Naperville, IL

CHICAGO (June 8, 2021) – Mid-America Real Estate Corporation’s Investment Sales team recently brokered the sale of Market Meadows in Naperville, Illinois. The 159,472 square-foot grocery-anchored community center was sold to Chicago-based, Shorewood Development.  A special thanks to Shorewood for their persistence on moving forward with the transaction, despite the many challenges that resulted from the Pandemic.
Market Meadows is positioned in the Chicago suburb of Naperville located 30 miles west of downtown Chicago in both DuPage County and Will County. The center is grocery-anchored by a high performing Jewel-Osco and was purchased for a major redevelopment of the shopping center. 

Mid-America Real Estate Corporation Principal Rick Drogosz was the exclusive broker in the transaction on behalf of the seller, a California-based Private Seller.


Developer Plans 9-Story Office Building At Nealey Foods Site In Fulton Market

Mar 2, 2020, Fulton Market - A developer is set to present plans for a nine-story office building planned for the Nealey Foods site in Fulton Market at a meeting this week.

Shorewood Development Group aims to build a nine-story building with ground-floor retail at 900 W. Fulton Market. They will pitch their plan to neighbors at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Catalyst Ranch, 656 W. Randolph St.

The building, designed by HPA Architects, would be 124 feet tall and would not include on-site parking, according to a zoning application filed in December.

The building would replace wholesaler Nealey Foods. Shorewood Development Group purchased the site earlier this year, according to Crain’s.

The developer is seeking a zoning change.

The site is one block west of Thor Equities’ 19-story office tower, currently under construction.


Chicago developers busy despite talk of a slowdown

City Council gets plans and zoning proposals for office buildings and new housing units.

Zoning proposals for six large-scale projects in neighborhoods just west and northwest of downtown were submitted Wednesday to the City Council, indicating an active construction market here despite worries about a slowdown.

Four of the new projects are for office buildings and two involve apartment buildings. Industry data have shown commercial property investors have scaled back on Chicago acquisitions this year. The inventory of new residential high-rises also is declining.

Developers and other real estate experts cite worries about property taxes, the debt loads of local government and mandates to build affordable housing as reasons for a go-slow attitude.

But the new zoning filings show continued interest in areas where developers have swarmed. “People seem to be seeing continued office demand, especially in the Fulton Market area. [Developer] Sterling Bay has an unbelievable appetite to build there,” said Alan Lev, chairman of housing developer Belgravia Group.

The zoning requests introduced to the City Council involved these sites:

  • 1200 W. Fulton Market, where Ryan Cos. U.S. plans two office buildings containing 556,000 square feet and 335 parking spaces. The tallest would be 300 feet. The project entails a large component of commercial and retail space, about 150,000 square feet.
  • 1200 W. Carroll Ave., where Sterling Bay plans a 14-story office building with 90 parking spots.
  • 900 W. Fulton Market, site of a nine-story commercial project backed by Buffalo Grove-based Shorewood Development Group.
  • 344 N. Canal St., a Cassidy Tire location would be replaced by a 33-story apartment tower with ground-floor retail space. The proponent is Habitat Co., which has declined requests from a preservation group to save a five-story factory on the site that dates from 1902 and was moved to its present home long ago.
  • 777 N. Franklin St., where Centrum Properties wants to replace a small building with nine stories of commercial space next to a CTA Brown Line stop.
  • 1140 W. Erie St., near Ogden Avenue’s crossing over the Kennedy Expressway, where Chicago-based Bond Cos. wants to build 87 residential units and 33 parking spaces.

The Cassidy Trie building at 344 N. Canal St. would be replaced by a 33-story apartment tower.

The applications will lead to hearings before the City Council’s zoning committee and, in most cases, the Chicago Plan Commission. Developers usually wait for aldermanic consent before they submit a proposal that’s often been critiqued by local groups.

Despite talk of a slowdown, developers seek opportunities in popular locations. Lev said Belgravia plans to move ahead on a condo project in the West Loop, unusual given that housing deals lately have been for rentals.

Lev said his firm plans to start marketing 72 units at the southeast corner of Jackson Boulevard and Racine Avenue. He said he will pursue the project without a zoning change, which means he can avoid the requirements of Chicago’s Affordable Housing Ordinance.

“A lot of developers are starting to make these calculations. They’ll build smaller buildings to avoid having to meet the requirements,” Lev said.

The ordinance requires developers of 10 or more units to set aside 10% of them at prices or rents deemed affordable for those with lower incomes or provide money to build the units elsewhere. It applies when there’s a zoning change or other form of city help.


Chicago Cheat Sheet: Another industrial property sold off in Fulton Market

Also, uber-wealthy North Shore town of Kenilworth to create TIF to fight “blight’

Another relic of the old Fulton Market getting sold

Shorewood Development Group is buying a former food service property in Fulton Market. Buffalo Grove-based Shorewood is under contract to buy the 25,000-square-foot former Nealey Foods complex at 900-914 West Fulton Street. CEO Louis Schriber declined to share his plans for the property, and terms of the deal, which closes next month, were not disclosed. Nealey, meanwhile, also has a deal to sell industrial buildings across the street to Oak Brook-based Huizenga Capital Management. Colliers International’s Vern Schultz and Michael Senner are representing Nealey in the Shorewood deal.

Kenilworth officials looking to fight “blight”in ultra wealthy suburb
Kenilworth officials voted to create a tax increment financing district to combat “blight” in the village, one of the wealthiest locales in the country. Proponents said revenue generated by the plan will revive the “long stagnant” business district at Green Bay Road and Park Avenue. But the plan was slammed by residents who said it violates the spirit of the TIF system, which is designed to give new life to “blighted” areas.

A Buffalo Grove-based investor is buying the Nealey Foods property in the heart of the trendy neighborhood.

Fulton Market Food Wholesaler Cashing Out

A Buffalo Grove-based investor is buying the Nealey Foods property in the heart of the trendy neighborhood.

A suburban real estate investor is picking up one of the last remaining industrial properties waiting to be redeveloped in the heart of the Fulton Market District.

Buffalo Grove-based Shorewood Development Group is under contract to purchase a former food wholesaling property on the 900 block of Fulton Market from Nealey Foods, Shorewood Founding Partner and CEO Louis Schriber confirmed.

The sale price for the four buildings, totaling roughly 25,000 square feet, at 900-914 W. Fulton Market is unclear, as the deal is not scheduled to close until next month. Nealey had been seeking around $600 per square foot for its two Fulton Market properties combined: the one Shorewood is buying and the 33,000 square feet of brick industrial buildings across the street that are also under contract to be sold next month to a venture backed by Oak Brook-based Huizenga Capital Management.

But the Huizenga property is worth far more per square foot because the buildings can be demolished for redevelopment, whereas three of the four buildings Shorewood is buying are considered "contributing" to the Fulton-Randolph Market landmark district, meaning they cannot be demolished nor their exteriors drastically altered.

Schriber, whose development firm made its first Fulton Market purchase last fall when it paid $3.2 million for a retail building at 1009 W. Lake St., joins the party of developers transforming the neighborhood from a meatpacking district into a corporate destination and hotbed of upscale hotels, restaurants and retailers.

The Nealey property is a symbol of the types of business that dominated the corridor for the better part of a century until the city relaxed zoning there, greasing the skids for Google, McDonald's and other corporate giants to move in.

Other business that paved the way by selling their properties in recent years include Fulton Market Cold Storage, Quality Food Products, Aspen Foods and John R. Morreale Meat. Nealey, which could not be reached for comment, originally put its Fulton Market properties up for sale in 2016.

Schriber declined to share specifics of his plan for the property, which Nealey vacated in 2017 when it relocated to the 3300 block of South Pulaski Road in South Lawndale.

"It's going to be consistent with the neighborhood," said Schriber, who said his firm has mostly done infill shopping center development in Chicago and elsewhere in the Midwest.

The Nealey property today is surrounded by construction as other developers build out ambitious projects along Fulton Market.

The buildings are adjacent to an old industrial building that the parent company of Time Out Chicago is converting into a 50,000-square-foot food hall. Across the street, snack maker Mondelez International will soon move into a redeveloped building at 905 W. Fulton Market. Meanwhile, Google has been talking to developers near its Midwest headquarters at 1000 W. Fulton Market about doubling the company's already massive footprint in the neighborhood to about 1 million square feet.

Colliers International Executive Vice Presidents Vern Schultz and Michael Senner are representing Nealey in the property sale.

Big Blue pool

Big Blue Swim School Partners With Shorewood Development Group For Massive 16-Unit Deal in Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul

Nation's Leading Swim School Franchise's Newest Franchise Partners Led by Louis Schriber III and Aaron Roth to Bring 10 Locations to Chicagoland, Six More to Twin Cities.

CHICAGO, May 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Big Blue Swim School, the nation's leading swim school franchise, is excited to announce a new partnership with Shorewood Development Group to bring 10 new locations to Chicagoland and an additional six locations to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

Shorewood Development Group, a Buffalo Grove, Illinois-based commercial real estate firm specializing in infill retail shopping center development, brings a wealth of relevant experience to the Big Blue Swim School franchise family. Led by Louis Schriber III and Aaron Roth, SDG Swim, LLC's 16 locations will be managed by Jeff Plazak and Rachel Chavez.

"I was first introduced to Big Blue Swim School when my children attended lessons in Glenview. Being in real estate development, we knew some early investors in the brand and were intrigued," said Schriber. "Once the Level 5 team got involved with Big Blue, we knew this was of significant interest to us and started pursuing the brand as another business to grow within our Shorewood investment model."

Added Roth, "My excitement about the opportunity and the brand increased after flying down to Atlanta and meeting the Level 5 team. Their energy, passion and vision for Big Blue Swim School was contagious, and made me a believer of the model, culture and future of the brand."

Like Big Blue Swim School co-founder Chris DeJong, Schriber has a long history with competitive swimming. Raised on the water in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, swimming has always been a part of his life.

"Growing up both on and in the water, I recognize that not only is water safety extremely important, but also that being a skilled swimmer opens the doors to adventure and fun," said Schriber. "As a result of always being in the water, I was a natural at swimming. I swam varsity all four years of high school and continued to swim competitively in college for the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse."

Fast forward to 2019, and the team at Shorewood Development Group is prepared and excited to tap into its vast knowledge and network in the commercial development space to expand Big Blue Swim School's presence throughout Chicagoland and into the Twin Cities market.

"We have a deep understanding of the Chicago market and are extremely well-connected here, which gives us confidence in our ability to select the ideal locations for our swim schools," said Schriber. "Signing on for the exclusive rights to the remaining Chicagoland territory was critical for us to be able to be hands-on and grow our schools to both our and Big Blue's high standards."

Thanks to Roth's roots in Orono, Minnesota, Shorewood Development Group has a strong familiarity with the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and feel that is one of the premier markets in the Midwest for expansion. Coupled with Big Blue Swim School's analytical ability to identify top markets, the brand's new franchisees are well-equipped to execute.

"Other than just being my home state, Minnesota is truly an amazing, thriving market full of active, family-oriented people that really focus on their kids," said Roth. "It also doesn't hurt that Minnesota is 'The Land of 10,000 Lakes' — where people love the outdoors and regularly interact with water, marking swimming a must-have skill. This makes our schools and services very important to the families in the community."

"Aaron and Louis both have large families, each with five children all under the age of 14. They are intimately familiar with the important role swimming plays in kids' lives," said Scott Thompson, Chief Development Officer of Big Blue Swim School. "Their experience as business owners and ability to take existing real estate, envision a totally new product and execute in accordance to that vision are exceptional. They have the same vision for Big Blue Swim School and there's no doubt in my mind that their locations will be something to behold. Their ability to grow and retain top-tier employees gives us the utmost confidence that our schools will be in great hands with Jeff and Rachel leading the way."

"We feel confident that our partnership has the necessary market knowledge, analytics and personnel to make the right decisions and get open quickly with the right locations," Schriber said. "Our immediate goal is to fulfill our commitment to these 16 schools while continuing to evaluate new market options to expand into. We couldn't be more excited to begin our journey with Big Blue Swim School and feel these 16 schools are just the beginning."


Associated Bank Closes on 10th Loan to Shorewood Development

Associated Bank has closed on an $11,245,000 loan to Shorewood Development Group to refinance an existing land acquisition loan, and provide funds for the construction of The Shops of Buffalo Grove in Buffalo Grove, IL. The 25-acre retail development will be shadow-anchored by the area’s newest Woodman’s Market and a standalone Chase Bank.

VP Daniel Barrins, with Associated Bank’s commercial real estate division, originated the loan. It represents the bank’s 10th loan to Shorewood.

The development, consisting of two buildings totaling 36,007 square feet, will serve the communities of Buffalo Grove, Riverwoods, Lincolnshire, Deerfield and Wheeling. Existing signed leases include Starbucks, T-Mobile, Mod Pizza, Panera Bread and Great Clips. Tenants are expected to be open for business in the spring.

Shorewood specializes in repositioning existing buildings and ground-up construction of retail projects. Partners Aaron Roth and Louis Schriber III founded Shorewood in 2007.


Associated Bank completes $11.2M loan for Buffalo Grove retail development

Associated Bank announced the completion of an $11,245,000 loan to Shorewood Development Group to refinance an existing land acquisition loan and provide funds for the construction of The Shops of Buffalo Grove in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.

The Shops of Buffalo Grove is a 25-acre retail development that will be shadow-anchored by the area’s newest Woodman’s Market and a stand-alone Chase Bank at the highly-trafficked intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and Deerfield Parkway. The development, which will consist of two buildings totaling 36,007 square feet, will serve the communities of Buffalo Grove, Riverwoods, Lincolnshire, Deerfield and Wheeling. Existing signed leases include Starbucks, T-Mobile, Mod Pizza, Panera Bread and Great Clips. Tenants are expected to be open for business in the spring of 2019.

Daniel Barrins, a vice president with Associated Bank’s commercial real estate division, originated the loan, the bank’s tenth to Shorewood Development Group. Shorewood specializes in repositioning existing buildings and ground-up construction of retail projects, leveraging relationships throughout the Midwest in both the real estate and investment communities. Partners Aaron Roth and Louis Schriber, III founded Shorewood in 2007.

Headquartered in Chicago, Associated Bank’s commercial real estate division is committed to providing commercial real estate developers/owners/operators with an array of financing solutions, in addition to products and services that meet their unique needs. Associated’s commercial real estate division has offices in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin.


Groundbreaking For Buffalo Grove Woodman's Is Today

The new 242,000-square-foot grocery store will be located on the northwest corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Deerfield Road.

BUFFALO GROVE, IL -- A groundbreaking ceremony will be held for the new Woodman’s Market in Buffalo Grove next week. The event will take place on the northwest corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Deerfield Road, which is the future site of the 242,000-square-foot Woodman’s grocery store, starting at 11 a.m. on Sept. 27. The site will also include a gas station, car wash and lube station.

In addition, Shorewood Development Group will be developing a commercial property on the southwest corner of the intersection. Woodman’s Food Market is anticipated to open next summer or fall.

The 25-acre project has involved coordination with multiple government partners, including Lake County, the Lake County Department of Transportation (LCDOT) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), according to a news release from the village of Buffalo Grove.

Woodman’s officials have cited Buffalo Grove’s prime regional location, strong purchasing power, and business-friendly atmosphere as reasons why they chose to locate a store in the village. The Janesville, Wisconsin-based company is employee-owned, with 17 locations in Illinois and Wisconsin.

The grocery chain is known for its large selection of products offering ‘every-day low prices’ on more than 100,000 items sold in the stores.

For more information about the project or the groundbreaking event, please contact Chris Stilling at cstilling@vbg.org or 847-459-5530.


Shorewood Development Group acquires Meacham Gatherings

Shorewood Development Group, and its partners Louis Schriber III, Aaron Roth, and Alp Haciosmanoglu, have announced the acquisition and development of Meacham Gatherings, located at 900 N. Meacham in Schaumburg. Allen Joffe, principal and managing broker of Baum Realty Group, represented Shorewood Development Group in both the acquisition and leasing of the 3.33-acre land site that neighbors Woodfield Shopping Center.


Buffalo Grove Trustees Officially Approve Woodman’s

After months of tweaking plans and holding public hearings, Buffalo Grove village trustees Monday night gave final approval to construct a 242,000 sq. ft. Woodman’s Food Market at the northwest corner of Deerfield Parkway and Milwaukee Avenue. The store, which will be open around the clock daily, will provide 589 parking spaces.

The development includes a gas station with eight dispensers under a canopy, a carwash and quick lube station.

At the southwest corner of Deerfield and Milwaukee, Shorewood Development Group, the contract purchaser of the entire 25 acres on both sides of the road, will develop the remaining 5.5 acres with a mix of commercial/retail uses including two drive-through restaurants and a bank with a drive-through.

Shorewood will relocate its offices to the south end parcel from Milwaukee Avenue and Lake-Cook Road where they currently operate.

One condition of the approval is Shorewood cannot fill any of its tenant spaces on the south end until they form a cross-access agreement with a strip center directly to the south off Milwaukee Avenue.

As part of the Economic Development Agreement, Woodman’s will be reimbursed $4 million for off-site roadway and intersection improvements plus an additional $3 million.

In order to promote Woodman’s to develop the project, and to assist them with the project, the village agrees to share certain sales tax revenue received by the village associated with the project.

Sales tax revenue received by the village from Woodman’s motor fuel sales and other sales tax revenue generated by Shorewood’s commercial/retail development is not included in the sales tax sharing.

Jim Arneson of Woodman’s told trustees he needs approval from the Illinois Dept. of Transportation (IDOT) and Lake County Dept. of Transportation (LCDOT) for the road improvements before any construction on the store begins.

He asked that village trustees help expedite the process, if possible.

Once approvals are granted, Arneson anticipates construction lasting 12-14 months before completion. He hopes to begin construction by summer and open by late summer or early fall 2018.

Shorewood partner Louis Schriber III told trustees he has letters of intent with prospective tenants for the southern retail center and is waiting to execute those leases. He said construction there would take 4-6 months before tenants start moving in.

Trustee Joanne Johnson said she was pleased with the mixed-use plans and opportunities that will be available for residents.

Trustee Jeff Berman stated the village board has already considered the effect Woodman’s would have on other grocers in town and hopes the impact will be minimal.

“We hope somehow there will be a large enough market for everyone.” Berman said.

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New Investment with the Shorewood Development Group in Dubuque, IA

Investment Overview

Proceeds from our loan were used by Shorewood Development Group to purchase 1.35 acres on the SW corner of US HWY 20 (Dodge Street) and Wacker for ground up construction of a 10,590 square foot building. The site sits diagonally to Best Buy and a newly renovated Kennedy Mall which has over 700,000 square feet of retail space. It is one of the best lit intersections in the market. Dubuque is a very tight market, lacking in new developments, so it offers good potential as an investment.

SDG has full entitlements for the land and the building permit has been approved by the village. They purchased the land at the end of 2015 for cash and plan to close on the construction loan the by mid-March 2016. When the construction loan is received, SDG will pay back loans, but the Income Series of our fund will take a preferred equity position for about 60% of the original loan proceeds.

Game Plan

Prior to closing on the property, Shorewood Development Group executed non-contingent leases with Chipotle and Mattress Firm, who anchor the endcaps. The manager also has letters of intent from Noodles and AT&T to fill the remainder of the space. The building should be fully leased when construction begins. These leases, letters of intent, full entitlement and building permits, along with other guarantees provide a nice margin of safety to go along with the attractive interest rate. The rate is variable, depending on several factors, but should net 11.5% on the low end to 15% on the high end.


New Project Proposed for Milwaukee and Deerfield in Buffalo Grove

The leaders of Buffalo Grove have taken their first look at what could become the main entrance from the outside world into the village.

And they told the designers to try something else.

"This property is a gem," said Village Board member Joanne Johnson, but who told a collection of developers that their first draft looked a bit flat. "There is nothing extraordinarily unique about this plan."

For years, the Village Board has discussed the future of the two empty fields on the northwest and southwest corners of the Milwaukee Avenue and Deerfield Parkway intersection. On Monday, officials from a collection of building firms came forward with a proposal.

The groups gave a joint presentation about building a traditional, suburban development, split between the two properties, featuring retail, restaurants and upscale apartments. By the presentation's conclusion, several trustees asked the builders to think bigger, but the builders said they were already thinking about as big as the economic circumstances permitted.

"There's certain things that both the board and the developers would like to see that aren't feasible," said Larry Freedman, an attorney representing the developers.

The discussion revolved around what is commonly known as Berenesa Plaza, the 24-acre collection of three land parcels — two on the southwest corner of Milwaukee and Deerfield, the largest taking up the northwest corner. Currently home to just wetlands and weeds, the intersection is a Pace bus stop with little on either side of Deerfield Parkway.

Two development firms want to change that, though: the Hanover Company, which would build about 275 apartments, and Buffalo Grove's Shorewood Development Group, which would lead the retail side.

Louis Schriber III, CEO of Shorewood, mentioned several major firms that he said his company was already in talks with, including Starbucks and Texas Roadhouse. He said he envisioned numerous quick-serve chain restaurants, an urgent care clinic, 40,000 square feet of retailers that will remain relevant in the online-shopping age — such as a mattress store — a bank, and a 28,000-square-foot grocery store as the anchor of the six-acre southwest portion.

David Ott, a development partner with Hanover, spoke of apartments ranging from 500 to 1,500 square feet, marketed toward millennials and empty-nesters, with a variety of rents that average around $1,900 per month. Those would be on the northwest parcel, in four-story buildings, some with single-car garages.

Traffic counts in that area suggest that it could support something big: Illinois Department of Transportation records show an average of more than 15,000 vehicles moving east and west on Deerfield daily, and more than 33,000 going up and down Milwaukee.

Three of the intersection's four corners are presently barren. The northeast corner, in Riverwoods, is home to a strip mall anchored by the Panera Bread at 2001 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Schriber described for the trustees his hope to poach some existing businesses out of some existing developments nearby. He told them that he sees "the Panera jumping across the street," and occupants of Lincolnshire's CityPark shopping center moving 1.3 miles south to distance themselves a bit from similar stores in Vernon Hills.

"This piece has been on your radar for a long time," said Freedman, adding that the builders understood what the board had been waiting for since it first annexed the land in 1990.

The trustees said the builders did not, and advised them to consider taller apartment buildings and, for food, a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse or something else high-end instead of suburban. Village President Beverly Sussman fretted about the presence of apartments, of any volume and any price range.

"Won't that make it very transient?" she asked.

The site has hindrances. Deerfield Parkway constricts from two lanes to one between Milwaukee Avenue and Interstate 94, creating a choke point.

Some of the acreage carries the "wetlands" designation, according to a village memo, and the Des Plaines River, about half a mile to the east, floods the area every few years.

A memo from Shorewood to the board noted that the Army Corps of Engineers, Lake County Stormwater Management Commission and others have some regulatory authority. The federal Environmental Protection Agency has no records of cleanliness violations on either side of the property in the past three years.

At the talk's end, the board agreed to send the layout on to Village Hall's planning commission for, as trustee Les Ottenheimer termed it, "a very thorough review."

Trustee Steve Trilling cautioned the builders to be open to new ideas.

"This is the gateway to our village, and I want you to recognize that," he said. "We want something that's a true destination. I invite you, and I challenge you, to think of things that will make this a destination."


Towns grow without Borders

Three years after Borders Books & Music started closing its doors amid bankruptcy, the impact of the national chain's exit is still evident around the Chicago area.

While some buildings remain shuttered, many have attracted new businesses, including grocery stores, clothing shops and even other bookstores.

Borders Group Inc. announced bankruptcy early in 2011, and by July that year closed the nearly 400 remaining stores. Some two dozen stores in the area shut down.

"Many communities are (still) dealing with this vacant hole in various places," said Robert Kallien, the community development director of Oak Brook.

Borders' exit from Oak Brook kicked off a flight of businesses from a shopping center in a high-traffic area, Kallien said. That left a 140,000-square-foot retail space more than two-thirds empty, he said.

"It seems like when Borders left, you know, they lost another big tenant, and it's kind of gone from there," he said.

Stores also remain empty in Chicago and in suburbs ranging from Bolingbrook and St. Charles to Oak Park, although a Sleepy's mattress store has filed papers to start the process of opening there.

In St. Charles, the shopping center that included the Borders store was foreclosed on in 2011, Kane County property records show. The Borders was not the first in the Main Street Commons center to go, but its vacancy continues to impact local commerce, said Russell Colby, planning division manager of St. Charles.

"Having a vacancy of that size and visibility is not helpful," Colby said.

But, in a possible sign of recovery, a mall across the street is undergoing a major renovation, he said. Colby hopes the Charlestown Mall renovation will draw traffic that spills over and helps fill the vacant spaces at Main Street Commons.

In other communities, the exit of Borders actually spurred the economy, said Scott Carr, executive vice president of Inland Real Estate Corporation.

Inland owns three former Borders stores, Carr said. The company saw signs of Borders' demise before it collapsed, and leased two of the stores — in Orland Park and Crystal Lake — to grocers, Carr said. The Orland Park store became a Whole Foods Market, and the Crystal Lake site now houses The Fresh Market. Both grocers draw more traffic than the book retailer, Carr said.

The company divided its third store, in Algonquin, into two spaces. Half Price Books and Family Christian Stores moved in. Inland leased the Algonquin store within a year of Borders' closing, Carr said.

"There's a lot of demand from retailers for space," he said.

A former Borders in Naperville also became a bookstore, called 2nd and Charles.

Geneva officials also discovered demand for a local Borders building. There, a combined marketing effort by city officials and the site's owner drew offers from several businesses, Geneva spokesman Kevin Stahr said. The owner settled on Ross, a clothing store, which opened in fall 2012, Stahr said.

In La Grange, a former two-story Borders store now houses five businesses — including an AT&T; store, Smashburger and a massage clinic. But the rush of new businesses brought complications, too, with the village's sign code. Eventually, the village changed its sign rules to accommodate second-story businesses like those in the La Grange Borders.

In Deerfield, a North Shore Medical HealthSystem proposal to put a medical office in a two-story former Borders building drew initial skepticism from village officials, said Jeff Ryckaert, the town's principal planner.

"We were a little concerned that this would not generate sales tax, but there are some benefits to medical uses," Ryckaert said.

But the village went through with it, he said. The employees at the center likely dine at nearby restaurants, he said. Also, the center draws people from all over the region who get a feel for Deerfield and might stop at other stores, he said.

In Chicago, many former sites have new tenants, but in the far South Side neighborhood of Beverly, a 25,000-square-foot building that used to house a Borders sits empty, along with a 107-vehicle parking lot.

"It was definitely a blow when they closed," said Marcia Walsh, housing and economic development director of the Beverly Area Planning Association.

The Beverly store was a major presence on a stretch of 95th Street that struggled during the economic downturn, Walsh said.

But recent market changes have sparked some hope. The store was recently sold to Shorewood Development Group following a TIF-funded streetscape project, said Walsh.

"Now that the economy is coming back, the retail will start coming back, too," Walsh said.

In other city locations, empty bookstores were quickly replaced, highlighting changes in what people want to buy.

Old Navy moved into a space Borders had occupied at State and Randolph streets, Chicago Loop Alliance Executive Director Michael Edwards said. And Gap moved into the space Old Navy vacated just down the street, he added.

"Old Navy and Gap are more reflective of the younger, urban consumer that probably reads a lot of books on their phone or iPad, but likes to get dressed up in bright clothes," Edwards said.

British clothing retailer TopShop opened at the Borders site on North Michigan Avenue in November 2011, said John Chikow, president and CEO of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association.

"I would say that corner didn't miss a beat, and probably moved forward after the sale," Chikow said.

In Hyde Park, the University of Chicago purchased a former Borders store for about $7 million as part of a redevelopment effort on 53rd Street, university spokeswoman Calmetta Coleman said. The store now houses an Akira boutique clothing store and a CorePower Yoga studio, Coleman said. The owners of Longman & Eagle are planning to open a restaurant and music venue there called The Promontory, she added.


Developer plans 3 small suburban shopping centers

A Buffalo Grove-based developer is rolling out three small suburban shopping centers, part of a broader uptick in suburban retail development after a prolonged slump.

Shorewood Development Group LLC recently broke ground on Meacham Gatherings, a 19,000-square-foot shopping center at 900 N. Meacham Road in Schaumburg. Shorewood also plans projects in Oswego and Countryside.

Shorewood already has leased 75 percent of the Schaumburg property to retailers including Protein Bar, Roti and Potbelly Sandwich Works.

Louis Schriber, founding partner and CEO at Shorewood, plans to break ground this month on a multi-building shopping center near La Grange and Joliet roads in Countryside that will include a 7,400-square-foot Texas Roadhouse, Starbucks, Vitamin Shoppe and Potbelly.

Shorewood also is getting ready to begin construction on a project near Fifth Street and U.S. 34 in Oswego that will include a 6,900-square-foot building leased to a Noodles & Co., Supercuts and Potbelly. Another 5,700-square-foot building is more than half leased to an urgent-care clinic, Mr. Schriber said.

After a bruising recession, retail development is picking up again. New projects added 1.14 million square feet to the Chicago metropolitan area last year, up 10 percent from 1.02 million in 2011, according to a report by Mid-America Real Estate Corp.

“It looks like we've bottomed out and are slowly starting to see the end of the recession that stalled the shopping center development business,” Andy Bulsom, the author of the report, said in a statement.

Developers are forecast to build another 900,000 square feet in 2013, an 8 percent increase.