Lane Bryant, a plus-size women’s store on Lake Street in Oak Park, is closing this month, just a few short years after it set off a media contretemps in the village.

Employees who answered the phone at 1120 Lake St. declined to comment, but said that the Oak Park location would go dark by Jan. 25, depending on how quickly it unloads inventory. A spokeswoman for Lane Bryant’s parent company, Pennsylvania-based Charming Shoppes Inc., said several nearby stores are available to shoppers, including ones in North Riverside and Norridge.

“Lane Bryant has greatly enjoyed doing business in Oak Park and wishes to thank their customers for their loyalty over the last five years,” Gayle Coolick wrote in an email last week. “Customers are invited to take advantage of tremendous deals at the store’s closing sale, which is already in process.”

The arrival of Lane Bryant in Oak Park set off a media uproar back in 2006, as the village tried to block developer Rich Curto from leasing the space to the store. Curto retaliated by suing village hall and enticing reporters to cover the story.

That led to Village President David Pope appearing on the “Today Show” five years ago, explaining why the feud was about Curto, and not Lane Bryant.

Reached last week, Pope said that the developer had a list of about 50 stores that were OK to open in the 1120 Club. That’s because the village and RSC & Associates were partnering up on the deal, since the retail-condo complex was built on village-owned land.

So, any stores not on the list had to first get a green-light from the village. Pope said Curto went behind Oak Park’s back to sign the lease and tried to cover himself with the lawsuit and media coverage when the village fought back.

“If you take the developer’s behavior out of the equation, Lane Bryant has been a valuable store here in the community, and has clearly helped to serve patrons from the entire near-west suburban region,” Pope said. “It would be a loss to see them go.”

Retail space at 1120 Lake St. — which also includes Bar Louie, a fitness club and a bagel shop — is owned by an overseas family trust that wishes to remain anonymous, according to Michael Pontarelli, who is overseeing it on their behalf. The group, called 1120 Retail LLC, bought the commercial space from the original developer in 2008 for $15.8 million.

“We’re going to be aggressively marketing the space to try and fill it,” Pontarelli said.

Coolick said through email that the closure is based on Lane Bryant’s continued assessment of its “real estate portfolio.” They closed 33 stores in their recently ended fiscal quarter and opened eight. That leaves the company with some 820 stores nationwide.

David King, a commercial leasing agent based in Oak Park, thinks the property owners shouldn’t have trouble leasing up the spot. It’s in a prime location, and the retail vacancy rate in downtown Oak Park is hovering around 1 percent.

“Is that space leasable? Absolutely it is,” King said.

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