Oak Park getting Apple reseller store

Apple affiliated retailer opening on Lake near Oak Park Avenue


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By Dan Haley

Editor and Publisher

Oak Park will soon be the only destination for Apple aficionados between Oak Brook and the Clybourn Corridor as a longtime Apple-affiliated retailer and service provider will open an Apple store on Lake Street just west of Oak Park Avenue, a location previously occupied by Baird & Warner Real Estate.

The announcement was made July 11 by David King, a local commercial real estate leasing agent. MacSpecialist, an independent firm which has been affiliated with Apple for 15-plus years, will open the 6,000-square-foot store at 805 Lake St. in the Scoville Square Building. The store will sell all Apple products with the exception of phones. In addition, it will be an authorized repair/warranty center and a training facility for consumers. The Scoville Square site will be both a retail location and the corporate headquarters for the company.

"We plan on bringing the full Apple retail experience to Oak Park," said Tim Robertson, operations chief for MacSpecialist. He said the store will hire 20 people to staff its operation. Demolition on the site has already begun.

Robertson emphasized the reseller store is a partner of Apple, not a competitor. Their staff consists of Mac-trained technicians who can fix almost any issue on site instead of shipping products away.

"Apple creates fantastic products. We are very excited to be able to offer them in Oak Park," Robertson said. "We are a locally-owned company that has been in business since the mid-1980s and looking at Oak Park as our flagship and corporate headquarters for years to come."

One significant resource worth noting, he said, is training for information technology professionals available on site. The training will provide certification and also attract more people to Oak Park from outside the area, Robertson said.

Oak Park was chosen in large part because it is an active community that cares about the village, he said, which made for a desirable pick when selecting a permanent home. A 10-year-lease was signed, and Robertson said the company plans to remain an active partner in the community.

"We're here for the long haul," he said. "This isn't a spur-of-the-moment decision. We're jumping in with both feet without a life preserver and putting a bet on Oak Park."

The MacSpecialist store will open on Oct. 1. Robertson said the retailer will offer thousands of dollars in daily giveaways during its opening week.

The Lake Street site has had a mixed history as a retail location, a situation that led to its use in recent years as the Baird & Warner location. After its acquisition of F.C. Pilgrim & Co. real estate last year, Baird & Warner combined offices into the former Pilgrim office building on Chicago Avenue. Going back a number of years, the Lake Street site had been home to a women's clothing store called Findlay's.

Brandy Masoncup, president of the Avenue Business Association, is thrilled about the upcoming arrival of MacSpecialist. She said their well-respected reputation will serve Oak Park well. She said more retail in the district helps create "retail clustering" to attract more people to shop in the area.

King said MacSpecialist had been interested in locating in this area and he and officials from village government, successfully urged them to choose the Oak Park site. They successfully made the argument that Oak Park is the most identifiable address for what he believes will be a regional destination for consumers.

"It's truly huge for them and the community," King said. "It will bring new life to the area."

Oak Park's village government had been pursuing a corporate Apple store for the past year. When the Border's store at Harlem and Lake closed, Tom Barwin, former village manager, said Oak Park would actively solicit Apple for that prime space. While Oak Park did not win a corporate Apple store, officials are enthused about the arrival of the MacSpecialist version on Lake Street.


—Staff Reporter Anna Lothson contributed to this report


Email: dhaley@wjinc.com Twitter: @OPEditor

Reader Comments

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b nelson from Chicago  

Posted: June 20th, 2014 1:41 PM

This location and the Villa Park location have gone out of business. Their website and Facebook page have been deleted...

Maria Cordero from Playa del Carmen Quintana Roo Mexico  

Posted: January 16th, 2013 1:54 AM

I lived with Eleanor Findlay just after a few years when she closed down Findlay´s Apparel store, she had great taste for clothing and was a great person.

Lisa Sciolle from Oak Park  

Posted: December 8th, 2012 11:38 AM

Eight years ago today, I began my campaign to anyone's e-mail I could get in Cupertino, CA about the need for an Apple store in OakPark/RF. I sent snail mail, e-mails, to the Real Estate Dept. Wish I could claim credit for personal satisfaction since I don't drive and could never get to OakVBrook/Skokie. Most important, we finally got this. Excuse me, got to run...straight there...just kidding. Welcome !!!

Aging Disgracefully  

Posted: July 13th, 2012 12:34 PM

Yippee! Some of these writers had best increase their fiber intake.

OP Resident from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 13th, 2012 12:06 PM

@Q: Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, I guess.

Q from Oak Park   

Posted: July 13th, 2012 10:21 AM

OP Resident, it wasn't Oak Park that landed the business, it was the company who did the demographics and determined Oak Park would make a better location then the West Side of Chicago, or the towns West of Oak Park.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: July 13th, 2012 10:18 AM

King Cormack, don't cry over your broken toy, they will fix it for you and make everything better.

King Cormack from Chicago  

Posted: July 13th, 2012 10:06 AM

As a 20-year Apple "power user" (so-called), I thank the folks who complimented my abilities. Out of sheer professional necessity I have patronized MacSpecialist since their inception (yes, kid, there was once no Genius Bars) and have always had the best experience. We're all familiar with the Apple product, where MacSpecialist shines is in service and attitude. I've walked in with a dead Mac, crying, and walked out 5 minutes later, smiling. And the Lake/Oak Park corridor needs a kick, IMHO.

OP Resident from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 12th, 2012 9:34 PM

I've made many critical posts about the lack of business development in our community so I really have to show some love when we get it right. Congrats to Oak Park for landing a quality business - the kind of business we should want in our community.


Posted: July 12th, 2012 7:03 PM

Murph, I've lived in OP for a long time, and continue to live here close o Austin Blvd, so save your condescending tone for some insulated far out suburban noob. It's a fact that robberies are an issue in and around OP, and it's a fact that expensive electronics are also a target. I've had more that one friend have either their iPod or laptop snatched either in the village, coming in or leaving. Live in your dream world if you wish.


Posted: July 12th, 2012 12:18 PM

There's already a computer repair store in Oak Park and it's called Avenue Computer. Brian Gibbs is the owner and it's located at 159 S. Oak Park Ave. - south of the Green line "L".


Posted: July 12th, 2012 11:09 AM

Your logic is flawed. If so many people have them, then the creeps dont have to look far, in ANY location to rob someone with an I Phone or I Pad. Hence the high rate of robbery of I Phones on the blue line. The Ave district is a pretty busy one and I dont see it to be the ideal location for all this crime you speak of. By your logic, there should be a lot of robberies by banks in OP. I dont see the stats.

face reality murph  

Posted: July 12th, 2012 10:05 AM

murph, they bring out valid points that unfortunately are somewhat true. Maybe their hasn't been a crime of signifcant nature in that area in a while (find that hard to believe) but their also hasn't been a store selling products that are frankly quite popular with the creeps that like to steal/hold up/terrorize others like you and I. No one should hide in their "bomb shelter" but I bet my milk money that within six months some poor soul is robbed/taken advantage of in/outside/near that store

Murph from oak park  

Posted: July 12th, 2012 8:16 AM

LB,REZ do you guys work for the Forest Park econ development board or are you from Mayberry? I live at that corner and there is always a beat cop walking around. Plus when you look at the crime stats online the last theft in that entire zip code was at midnight 6 months ago. Fact is,there was more theft in the WaterTower zip code in the last month than there was in OP in the last 2 yrs. Best stay in your bomb shelters and call peapod,someone might steal your milk money on the way to Oberweiss.


Posted: July 11th, 2012 11:09 PM

This is great news with mixed feeling. It's always great to have more business move in, and I'm happy to not have to commute long distances to continually replace my $60 MacBook charger... But the main concern should be people being targeted by robbers. Some guy walking down the street with a nice new $2000 laptop is going to make a for a nice payday for creeps.

funny comment luddite  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 10:49 PM

Luddite, that was a great comment. As for the one further down, I hate to say it, but how long after the place opens till it gets robbed/broken into/items stolen from it during broad daylight. Sorry, hate to say it, but true. Meanwhile, great store, can't wait to visit/shop/utilize. Hope they have security there, just like the sad fact that Old Navy/Gap/etc., have to have heavy security in and around their stores.

Anne from OP  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 4:48 PM

King is king!! Great idea and great news, Anne K

CordDesign from Oak Park  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 4:29 PM

I think King Cormack may have found his KINGdom! He would be a great mac expert for this store. He's helped me plenty of times - but then I guess I'd have to pay for his services- but it would be well worth it.

Ron from Oak Park  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 3:44 PM

This is great news! Now I hope they hire that OP guy, King Cormack who has been everybody's Mac specialist in town.


Posted: July 11th, 2012 3:34 PM

Outstanding news! Oak Park has been without a decent apple reseller since Billy's Fruit Market closed down.

Mac Lover! from Oak Park  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 2:58 PM

I'm deliriously happy to hear this. I'm a long time Mac person and, without a car, it's been difficult for me to get to Mac Specialist in Villa Park! This is just fantastic news! Welcome, Mac Specialist!!! WHOOOOO!


Posted: July 11th, 2012 2:19 PM

Be ready to get robbed or broken into at night.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 1:10 PM

parking, the people who go to an Apple store are so overwhelmed with what they are looking at they will stay for hours just salivating at the thoughts of owning the latest gadget that will not only make their lives better, but will keep them distracted from what's around them to the next gadget comes out. The marketing experts have observed how babies in cribs will play with toys and they have taken the baby side of adults and reverted them back into babies in a crib who carry money.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 12:39 PM

Congratulations to the Village Staff that worked hard to get a true "destination" store. This is the type business that will bring customers from a broad base. Validated or discounted validation parking would pay off at this site.


Posted: July 11th, 2012 12:35 PM

Where will all these customers park? I suppose the answer will be the Avenue Garage? Not a very retail customer friendly situation to pop in and pop out. Just sayin


Posted: July 11th, 2012 12:20 PM

I agree that this is wonderful news for that location and OP - for a variety of reasons. One "reason," however, won't be that it will generate much sales tax. $1M in sales, at the 2% for OP, is only $20,000. It'd therefore take $5M in sales (which has no chance of taking place) to come close to paying for the next Lakota study! Also, the "repair work" isn't subject to sales tax. Therefore, nada to OP. I agree, very, very good for OP. It won't, though, "generate" much sales tax revenue for OP.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 12:18 PM

Mr. Haley, it really is terrific news to have the store come in to Oak Park, because it will without a doubt from observing the other stores, will generate a lot of foot traffic, and it will attract customers from surrounding towns so it's a great opportunity for other businesses to try and market to customers coming in to Oak Park. It may have been better on the Mall but the coffee shop should do well from it.

Good News for Oak Park  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 11:49 AM

JT said: "Now I will have somewhere closer than Oak Brook to go when someone steals my iPhone on the blue line!" Except that this location will not have phones.

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 11:46 AM

Dear Q, this is good news for Oak Park and we're happy to report the story. But the reason I wrote it is because I was sitting at my desk this morning at 7 a.m. when the phone rang. It's that simple. Dan


Posted: July 11th, 2012 11:45 AM

I think this is a great addition as well as a large tax revenue generator.

Well Done from Oak Park  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 11:42 AM

Great news indeed! Bluestone, schmoostone.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 11:36 AM

Kids and adults all like the security playing games when crossing streets, driving, riding, riding their bicycles and even pushing baby strollers. It's astonishing how pimple faced youth and adults a like get lost in the candy store of electronics. Even the news of this store coming to Oak Park, had to be covered by Dan, that's how important it is. Now people are ready to enjoy the full Apple retail experience, whatever a full Apple experience is.


Posted: July 11th, 2012 11:24 AM

Great news,! Thatss what Oak Park needs , a destination retail store that will bring additional outside revenue to the village

Brian from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 11:23 AM

Hopefully they will generate a lot of sales tax revenue.

OP MacDad  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 11:14 AM

These guys know their stuff, too. I've had repairs done at their Wells St. location (now closed?), and they're a credible alternative to going to the Apple store.


Posted: July 11th, 2012 11:00 AM

Now I will have somewhere closer than Oak Brook to go when someone steals my iPhone on the blue line! In all seriousness, this is great news.

Matt Baron from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 11:00 AM

Fantastic addition to our community, and an excellent, high-visibility location. Looking forward to seeing how this may stimulate more business growth in that area of town.

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