The construction trucks and work crews are still putting the final touches on the 21-story Vantage apartment building on the northeast corner of Lake and Forest, but all is quiet across the street to the west at 1000 Lake St.
That’s because UrbanStreet Group, which purchased the building along with 1010 Lake St. in August 2014 for $6.95 million, has halted any public discussion about its plans to demolish the building and construct an eight-story mixed-use luxury apartment building on the site.
Instead, UrbanStreet hired CBRE Group, a commercial real estate firm, to market the property as a site that can accommodate a 16-story building with 189 units, 5,800 square feet of ground-level retail space and enough parking to fit 306 vehicles.
Neither Robert Burk, a managing partner at UrbanStreet, nor John Jaeger, executive vice president of CBRE, could be reached for comment.
UrbanStreet submitted a proposal to the village of Oak Park in November 2014 to tear down the existing two-story office building at the site and construct an eight-story tower that would include 140 units and 194 parking spaces.
The developer presented the proposal to the Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission Architectural Review Committee in 2014, but by February 2015, Burk said the proposal was preliminary and UrbanStreet was looking to possibly add more height to the apartment building.
The existing structure was built in 1956 as Lytton’s Department Store.
The CBRE listing markets the property as 28,000 square feet of land area in “Oak Park’s thriving Downtown District and major commercial thoroughfare, with convenient access to public transportation including the Oak Park Metra Union Pacific West & CTA Green Line ‘El’ stops and close proximity to a number of major demand generators and renowned restaurants and nightlife.”
Max Austin-Williams, executive director of Downtown Oak Park, said in a telephone interview that his group, which promotes business development in the downtown area, is excited to see the property being actively marketed.
He noted that the building is completely vacant with the intent of demolition, calling it “one of the more unattractive buildings” downtown.
“We’re excited to see that particular property turnover,” he said, noting its close proximity to Frank Lloyd Wright tourism areas and the Hemingway District.
Austin-Williams said he’s never heard of any plans by developers to reuse the existing building, so any future for the property would likely entail demolition.
“This very well may be the next large-scale development in our downtown,” he said.