Volvo of Oak Park opened its brand new doors in October, the new location giving the dealership hopes of more than doubling its business, driven by both higher sales and a greater capacity to service vehicles.
It is the location of the new buildingâ€"just off the Eisenhower Expressway at Harlem Avenue and Garfield Streetâ€"that promises more attention from luxury car shoppers from Chicago to the western suburbs, said Carmelo Scalzo, son of the dealership's owner.
"The sky's the limit with this store," Scalzo said. "We're so centrally located and accessible here."
Scalzo said that Shepherd Volvo, formerly at 260 Madison St., sold roughly 20 new cars a month. But he expects monthly sales at the new location to rise to 45-50, with additional monthly sales of 20 to 25 certified used Volvos.
The concrete, steel-and-glass building, designed by Oak Park architect Russell Lissuzzo, features approximately 25,000 square feet, split between two levels. The ground-level sales area is a wide-open 9-car showroom, with Brazilian cherry floors, Internet-cafe-style computer kiosks and plasma-screen televisions.
The former Shepherd Motors location, 260 Madison St., was sold to the Village of Oak Park, which expects to develop the site.
Other area businesses that moved into new digs in 2004 were:
â€¢ The closing of the Daily Grind, 119 N. Marion St., brought on two moves. The Rocking Horse Boutique moved into the corner mall space, and Meme's, a new shop moved into Rocking Horse's former 1109 Westgate St. space.
â€¢ Mixed Company moved to a larger space at 1107 Chicago Ave., making room for the Marion Street Cheese Company at 101 N. Marion St.
â€¢ Oak Park Records, 179 S. Oak Park Ave., changed its former 2nd Hand Tunes name with new ownership.
With the sudden closing of Fannie May stores across the Chicagoland area last January, two Oak Park landlords found themselves with a space to fill.
Delays in the build-outs of both projects kept Caribou Coffee, 136 N. Oak Park Ave., and Ben & Jerry's, 1025 Lake St., from opening until late fall.
Other businesses opening in the area this year included:
â€¢ Molly Maids, 949 Garfield St.
â€¢ Fly Bird, 719 Lake St.
â€¢ Bed, Bath & Beyond, 215 S. Harlem (Forest Park)
â€¢ Free Day Flower Co., 1053 Madison St.
â€¢ Cyber Arena, 1010 Lake St.
â€¢ The Living Room Gallery, 350 Harrison St.
â€¢ Gem - A Jewelry Boutique, 159 N. Marion St.
â€¢ Shops at Euclid Commons (SW corner of Euclid and Lake), including KaBloom, Jimmy John's, Great Clips, Great Frame Up, with Cartridge World and Jumpin' Java, a coffee and juice bar, on the way
â€¢ Art Gecko, 19 Harrison St.
â€¢ Meme's, 1109 Westgate St.
â€¢ S3 Kitchen, 814 S. Oak Park Ave.
â€¢ US Cellular, 134 N. Oak Park Ave.
â€¢ Memento Scrapbooking, 1114/1116 Chicago Ave.
â€¢ Penny's Noodles, 1130 Chicago Ave.
â€¢ Amazing Space, 1105 Chicago Ave.
â€¢ One Point Center, 911 S. Lombard Ave.
â€¢ Majama's, 909 S. Lombard Ave.
â€¢ At the Gallery, 135 N. Oak Park Ave.
â€¢ It's a Sign, 1114 Madison St.
â€¢ Marion Street Cheese Market, 101 N. Marion St.
â€¢ Scratch 'n Sniff, 120 Marion St.
â€¢ Tulipia Floral Design, 7617 W. Lake St. in River Forest
Razzle Dazzle, the costume shop formerly at 1038 Lake St., closed its doors for good last spring after 23 years in Oak Park.
Owners Joyce and Robert Proce wanted to retire and spend more time with their grandkids. They had not decided what they would do with the building, which they own. It's currently being used as Downtown Oak Park's Holiday House.
Other businesses bidding goodbye included:
â€¢ River Forest Market, 7761 Lake St.
â€¢ John "the Barber" Grabowski, 507 1/2 Madison St.
â€¢ Studio Pardes, 350 Harrison St.
â€¢ Hall and Son Printing Co.
â€¢ Kelly Shoes, 134 Marion St.
â€¢ KFC, 601 Harlem Ave.
â€¢ Daily Grind, 119 N. Marion St.
Twenty years ago in August, three neighbors created a children's book store on Madison Street near Austin Boulevard. After many special events, including a Harry Potter celebration that made national news, Magic Tree Bookstore is still thriving, now at 141 N. Oak Park Ave.
These Oak Park businesses also celebrated some big anniversaries this year:
â€¢ Fashions Anew, 20 years
â€¢ Barnard Schwinn, 20 years
â€¢ Madly Pop'n, 20 years
â€¢ Aria Group Architects, 15 years