Madison Street Business Report

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By John Hubbuch

I walk Madison between Oak Park Avenue and Marion on my semi-regular trips to the YMCA. Billy's  at Ridgeland and Madison just closed, but it is not part of my monitoring resposibility. I wish to report on economic developments since many of you probably never get south of Lake Street. The Walgreen's store that was closed has been replaced by a beauty supply store.  I guess Crate and Barrel was not interested. The fireplace store is closed for failure to pay its taxes. The little building and pumps of the closed gas station have been torn down, and now there is just a gravel lot. I assume any one wishing to develop the lot will have to deal with gas tanks and spilled oil, so I'm guessing nothing happens here until 2025. Finally, there is excavating equipment and piles of dirt across from the new Walgreen's. I suppose it might just be more parking for the Walgreen's, but I'm hoping something cool goes in there like a bank or a nail salon. We need more of those. Not.                                   

All the other vacant lots are still vacant. The vacant Comcast Building is still there. It is perhaps slightly degraded, and fraying at the edges. In fifty years it will eventually fall down I suspect. And District 97's administration building retains its title as "Ugliest Building in Oak Park".                                                  

I feel bad for all the Madison Street merchants. Even in tough economic times money is poured into certain business districts, while others like Madison Street get very little.

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Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal  

Posted: October 31st, 2011 7:40 AM

John's blog does mention the construction across Grove from Walgreen's. Read more carefully before you get out the anonymous flame thrower. And there will be a story in this week's paper about the construction project. Have a Happy Halloween. Dan Haley

I Guess I Expect Too Much from OP  

Posted: October 31st, 2011 4:38 AM

Typical of Hubbuch and the WJ -- you completely neglect to mention the new construction happening immediately west of the Walgreens. Will it be a parking lot? A park? A retail establishment? There's work going on there (one of the few places in OP where progress is being made), but no sign of what it might actually be. Oh well, I guess I expect too much from a mediocre blog from a second rate suburban paper.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: October 30th, 2011 5:44 PM

Isn't it, Trucks or Treats for Marion street? Yes, Marion street has all the boy's at city hall thinking up ways to get people willing to walk through a mess and buy something at Poor Phil's, and the nail and salons businesses on Madison street are on their own.

Dave Coulter  

Posted: October 30th, 2011 3:49 PM

The area needs a little goose. Let's think outside the box: perhaps the Village can land a Grand Prix race here in 2012? We could run the course all the way down Madison and then do a loop back up Jackson - with those cool turns. Oak Park is very glamorous. I'm sure all the jetsetters would love to visit.

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