By Anna Lothson
The longtime vacant auto dealership on Madison Street that was slated to get an Aldi grocery store will continue to remain vacant.
For the past year, the Batavia-based retailer had been eyeing the historic building, designed by E.E. Roberts at 644 Madison St., which has been empty since Foley-Rice Cadillac closed several years ago.
According to Doug Kaarre, the village's urban planner, no formal plans were ever presented, and to his knowledge Aldi has pulled the plug on the Madison Street plan.
Wednesday Journal reported in April that the prospective owners wanted to preserve the facade of a building in a manner similar to the nearby Walgreens. Multiple plans were presented to the Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission and members of the group reported being open to the store moving in under those conditions. Since spring, however, the plans never moved forward.
Efforts have been made for three years to label the building historic. The property once housed a Packard dealership. Designating the building historic would ensure that any work or demolition done to the exterior would have to undergo review by the preservation commission.
Kaarre said a request from the property owners, who are hoping to sell the building without restrictions, has delayed the commission's decision. In June a request to delay the assessment was granted, which puts off any resolution until December. The commission is not set to review the property before then.
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