Tentative deal could revamp Thyme & Honey corner

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By DREW CARTER

A developer has a contract to buy properties on and near the southeast corner of Oak Park Avenue and South Boulevard.

Architect John Schiess will oversee the project, but is not the buyer in the deal. Schiess would not disclose the name of the buyer, but said it was an investment group that "has done other work in Oak Park."

In the past, Schiess has worked with Oak Park Development Group.

Schiess would not comment on the scope of the project, and said details were still undefined. However, other sources said the project could include three buildings: the corner space, which houses Thyme & Honey Restaurant; a building to the south, which houses a coin laundry; and a building to the east, 721 South Blvd., which houses David A. Noyes & Co. and Val's halla Records.

The Demeur family, which owns the first two buildings, "decided we might be standing in the way of progress," said Basil Demeur.

Demeur called himself "the leading proponent" of the village's vacating the alley separating the two properties. He called the alley dangerous, for vehicles and pedestrians.

The building on South Boulevard is listed on McCollom Realty Ltd.'s website as being for sale with an asking price of $970,000.

Demeur said the deal is "in the delicate stages of negotiations." Schiess would not say what might hold back negotiations, but Demeur said leases could delay a development project.

Schiess said he expected the boundaries of the deal to be defined within the first quarter of next year, with architectural drawings to follow within a couple of months.

He called the area a "pretty important retail corner," but couldn't say whether the development would incorporate commercial or residential uses.

Contact: dcarter@wjinc.com

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