Chicago Ave. redo benefits businesses

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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As business owners we would like to respond to Dan Haley's Oct. 13 columnn, "Fancy streets are great, but wait there's more." The article states that money spent on the streetscaping of the Chicago Avenue, Ridgeland to Austin, business corridor hasn't spurred any economic development. We simply would like to point out some of the new businesses in the neighborhood and maintain that the money spent will continue to encourage some of the long-term businesses (Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Domino's Pizza, Ace Hardware, 7-Eleven, to name a few) to stay committed to the neighborhood.

The corporate office of OakPark is at 41 W. Chicago Ave. and is a stable part of the Chicago Avenue corridor for many years. Additionally housed in this building is the Rare Bird Preserves, a new startup business that makes wonderful jams and jellies.

Recently, completed a significant improvement in the previously abandoned storefront at 18 Chicago Ave., creating The ARC, a multi-purpose sports training facility and home to organizations such as Derby Lite, Oak Park Youth Baseball, Legacy Baseball, Strikers soccer plus many more. In addition to the above new businesses, Anita Alvarez, Cook County state's attorney, opened the Community Justice Center at 4 W. Chicago Ave. on July 7.

Although these may not be "big-box" retailers, they are very vital small businesses owned and operated by Oak Parkers committed to the diversity and economic prosperity of this often ignored but high-profile gateway to our community.

Bill and Bob Planek

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David Ristau from visiting from Lahaina, Maui  

Posted: October 28th, 2010 2:28 PM

Hats off to my landlords, Bill and Bob for their continued investment here on the east side of the village.Most of the small busiensses surrounding our Oak Park office have been here at least as long as us: 9 years.Thanks to the village for the streetscaping and inviting parking areas.Now, can you lighten up a bit on the signs???

John Murtagh from Oak Park  

Posted: October 27th, 2010 3:35 PM

I drove down Chicago to Austin today and was impressed with improvement to the corridor. Being a OP southwest resident, I don't get into the northeast corner frequently. I was impressed. I only wish that Madison from Oak Park Avenue to Home Street looked so good.

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