By Dan Haley
Making his initial public pitch to the Oak Park village board last Monday night, Andy Stein of Clark Street Development made a point likely intended to resonate with some village officials.
If the large scale retail, apartment and parking complex his firm is pitching goes in on the village-owned site known as the Colt parking lot, maybe someday, in five years he suggested, the owners of the adjacent Shops of Downtown Oak Park (Gap, Old Navy, Pier One) will decide they have badly underutilized their prime real estate and will redevelop that site.
This has been a popular notion with some Oak Park officials who know those national stores do very well in their current configuration but believe the village could do better if those stores were incorporated into a more ambitious development.
Meanwhile Stein and his potential retail leasing partner were stingy with possible tenant names for the Colt development. But two were mentioned as unpromised possibilities: Anthropologie and some retail concept from Williams-Sonoma.