Two long-vacant storefronts in the Downtown Oak Park business district will get tenants in the first quarter of next year. Two of those businesses are ones that were already here.

GNC, which was formerly located in the Colt building across the street, has signed a lease to relocate to the first floor of the E.E. Roberts-designed Drechsler building. Located at 1116 Lake, the historic building has been sitting vacant since 2002 and was last occupied by a Dr. Martens shoe store.

RSC and Associates signed a lease with GNC, which hopes to open after the first of the new year, said RSC Senior Vice President Jared Margolis.

RSC had a lease in place with an upscale clothing store earlier this year, but the company backed out because it couldn’t get the inventory desired, Margolis said.

Another Colt tenant, Professional Eye Care, is relocating across the street into the empty storefront in the 1120 Lake building, next to Lane Bryant. The space has been vacant since June of last year, when it was used as a temporary space to sell health club memberships for the Formula Fitness Club.

RSC is splitting the roughly 4,450 square-foot space between Professional Eye Care and Vermont-based Bruegger’s Bagels. Their menu includes tossed salads, coffee, soups, deli sandwiches, muffins, and, of course, bagels. RSC hopes for both businesses to open in the first quarter of 2009, Margolis said.

“The leasing in today’s environment has been challenging,” he said. “So we’re happy to get the deals we have, and we think the tenants are going to do real well there.”

-Marty Stempniak

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