I hope the following items are of interest to you. For more frequent updates, please Like and Follow us on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/NorthAvenueNeighborsAssociation/ You are also cordially invited to join The North Avenue District’s new Facebook group and be part of the discussion of how to revitalize North Ave. (Austin to Harlem) https://www.facebook.com/groups/107435609823334/?fref=mentions
BUSINESS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND REAL ESTATE (On North Ave. between Austin and Harlem, even-numbered addresses are in Chicago, odd-numbered addresses are in Oak Park)
The new parking lot at North/Natchez in Chicago belongs to ABC Bank. They moved their administrative offices to North Ave. and needed more employee parking. The nice landscaping is much appreciated. Thank you, ABC Bank!
Mulan’s Kitchen, 6954 W. North, is closed. Unfortunately, the cooking and friendliness weren’t much better than the previous restaurant at the same location, King’s Garden.I’m hoping that the next tenant is a really good restaurant.
Market Fresh Foods, North and Harvey in Oak Park, is closed. Sources say the building is for sale. This is so sad. The Casaccio brothers invested a lot of time and money in this store. Wonder whether the opening of Fresh Thyme on North Ave. in River Forest had anything to do with this store closing.
Robert Stelletello has been named a Small Business Super Hero. Bob owns Right at Home, 7000 W. North Ave. in Chicago. He employs more than 100 in-home care providers. He also serves on the boards of 4 local organizations, his college fraternity and its foundation, and somehow finds time for his church choir. http://www.oakpark.com/Community/Blogs/7-31-2017/Meet-Super-Hero-Robert-Stelletello-of-Right-at-Home-Oak-Park-%2F-Chicago/ North Ave. Neighbors Association and The North Avenue District are proud to have Right at Home in the district and join me in congratulating Bob.
New Star Restaurant, 7444 W. North Ave. in Elmwood Park, was featured on Channel 11’s “Check Please”. All 3 reviewers really liked it. http://checkplease.wttw.com/restaurants/new-star Congratulations, New Star!
Trustee Deno Andrews, owner of Felony Franks at 6427 W. North in Oak Park, has raised almost half of the money needed for a community-owned café on Chicago Ave. in Oak Park. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/8-8-2017/Community-cafe-attracts-investors/?utm_campaign=WJ-News&utm_medium=Outbound-Email&utm_source=WJ-News-8-10-2017 I wish the café was going to be on North Ave. location.
Two owners of Buona Beef, which has a restaurant at 7025 W. North in Oak Park, were arrested in a scuffle with union protesters outside their flagship location in Berwyn.https://patch.com/illinois/forestpark/buona-beef-bosses-battered-berwyn-protesters-police-say
Business licenses: Metro PCS, 6006 W. North http://chicago.everyblock.com/business-licenses/aug10-metro-pcs-8225387/?utm_campaign=digest&utm_medium=email&utm_source=digest; Sutton’s, to be located in the long-vacant storefront at 6522 W. North in Chicago. http://chicago.everyblock.com/business-licenses/aug03-suttons-8213744/?utm_campaign=digest&utm_medium=email&utm_source=digest V1 Nails, 6806 W. North http://chicago.everyblock.com/business-licenses/aug02-v1-nails-8212943/?utm_campaign=digest&utm_medium=email&utm_source=digest
Harold’s Chicken, 6606 W. North, passed inspection http://chicago.everyblock.com/food-inspections/jul31-harolds-chicken-57-llc-passed-inspection-8213288/?utm_campaign=digest&utm_medium=email&utm_source=digest
State Sen. Don Harmon’s previous office, 6933 W. North Ave. in Oak Park, is listed for lease on LoopNet. http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/20437498/6933-North-Ave-Oak-Park-IL/ Note: Harmon’s office moved a couple of doors to the west on North Ave.
Ald. Taliaferro and his business development committee are in discussions with the new owners of the Sears site, as well as developers interested in the former US Bank building at 6700 W. North and the large parking lot immediately to the east.
A petition has been launched asking Mayor Emanuel for a new Galewood-Montclare library https://www.change.org/p/rahm-emanuel-build-a-new-galewood-montclare-libraryIf you are a Chicago resident, please sign the petition. Galewood-Montclare has been without a real library for much too long.
Here’s a Wednesday Journal op-ed applauding the recent massage parlor bust and advocating for zoning code restrictions that help keep problem businesses from opening in the first place. (See under Crime and Safety, below, for more about the bust.) http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/8-15-2017/Massaging-zoning-code/ The North Avenue District (T-NAD) and North Ave. Neighbors Association completely agree. T-NAD advocated making massage parlors a special use in the new zoning code, along with banquet halls (which are sometimes nightclubs in disguise). (We also advocated several liberalizations.) Most of our recommendations were accepted and will become part of our new zoning code if the trustees vote to enact it. Note: the village conducts almost no background checks on business license applicants (except for chauffeur and liquor licenses.) Staff is considering whether there should be more. We think licenses for businesses that have created problems in Oak Park and nearby (like massage parlors) should be subject to background checks. This includes those planning to operate after 11 pm (or 24/7).
State Representative Camille Lilly has been chosen for a Tradition of Excellence award by Oak Park River Forest High School. Like North Avenue Neighbors Association and The North Avenue District, she is a true bridge between Chicago’s Galewood neighborhood and Oak Park. She lives in Galewood, grew up in Oak Park, and serves both communities as state rep. And her office is located at 6937 W. North Ave. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/8-1-2017/Four-chosen-for-OPRF’s-Tradition-of-Excellence-award/ Congratulations, Rep. Lilly!
THE NORTH AVENUE DISTRICT (T-NAD) (Note: The organization formerly known as the North Ave. Zoning and Development Advisory Committee (NAZDAC) became incorporated as The North Avenue District in October. But its goal remains the revitalization of North Avenue from Austin to Harlem.) You are cordially invited to join T-NAD’s new Facebook group and be part of the discussion of how to revitalize North Ave. (Austin to Harlem) https://www.facebook.com/groups/107435609823334/?fref=mentions
T-NAD is serving on the economic development committee of the recently launched Austin Quality of Life planning process, sponsored by Austin Coming Together. It is not too late to participate. Follow this link for more information: http://austincomingtogether.org/austinplan/
CRIME AND SAFETY
The North Avenue Business Subcommittee meets on the 3rd Thursday of odd months; next meeting is on September 21 at 1:30 p.m. at the 25th District HQ (Grand and Central). The Business Liaison Officer is Officer James Mackin; (312) 746-5090, James.Mackin@chicagopolice.org. The Business Subcommittee is a great way of working with Chicago police to make the North Avenue District safer and better. CAPS (community policing) meetings for Beat 2513 (North to Armitage, Austin to Harlem) are held the fourth Tuesday every other month, 6:30-7:30 pm in the Amundsen Park fieldhouse, 6200 W. Bloomingdale. Meetings are scheduled for Sept. 26 and Nov. 28. Galewood residents and business/property owners are encouraged to attend these meetings. Police/community communication is crucial to neighborhood safety.
The Oak Park Village Manager revoked the business license of King Spa (a massage parlor at 6441 W. North engaged in prostitution). This article provides more information about that and the sting operation. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/8-25-2017/Oak-Park-revokes-massage-parlors’-biz-license-after-sting/?utm_campaign=WJ-News&utm_medium=Outbound-Email&utm_source=WJ-News-8-25-2017 If the new zoning code were in effect, King Spa and other massage parlors would need special use zoning in order to open (as recommended by T-NAD). It’s doubtful it could have withstood the extra scrutiny. I hope the village will begin background checks for potentially problematic businesses like massage parlors in the meantime. Unfortunately, Comfort Spa (6417 W. North in Oak Park) remains open. Apparently there was not enough information to justify including it in the sting operation, though it’s my understanding it had the same owner as King Spa. Comfort Spa is advertising new ownership on the Internet. http://chicago.postfastr.com/TherapeuticMassage/grand-opening-comfort-spa-new-ownership-new-masseuse-new-faces/58378628. Hopefully they’ll operate as a legitimate business and take the suggestive poster out of the window.
King Spa, was closed temporarily after being busted for prostitution in a sting operation. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/8-10-2017/Three-Oak-Park-massage-parlors-busted-in-police-sting/?utm_campaign=WJ-News&utm_medium=Outbound-Email&utm_source=WJ-News-8-10-2017 https://patch.com/illinois/oakpark/prostitution-bust-police-posing-clients-oak-park?utm_source=newsletter-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=police%20%26%20fire&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_content=article-topstories&utm_slot=1 http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/oak-park/news/ct-oak-park-prostitution-tl-0817-20170816-story.html
The licensed massage therapist who wrote this letter to the editor is glad that King Spa on North Ave. was temporarily shut down for prostitution.http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/8-22-2017/Closing-‘parlors’-helps-massage-therapists/
In this letter to the editor, the director of a national organization fighting human trafficking says that Oak Leaves should not have published photos or personal information about the 4 women arrested at King Spa on North Ave. and 2 other Oak Park massage parlors. Its author wrote that: “Massage parlors are often illicit businesses that profit from the sale of trafficked women’s bodies.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/oak-park/news/ct-oak-letter-keyhan-tl-0824-20170817-story.html (I hope that those conducting these busts investigated whether they were trafficked.) The author also suggests that local media “dig into who owns the parlors, how they advertise, and who frequents them”. An excellent suggestion. How about it, Oak Leaves and Wednesday Journal?
Zone meetings are held monthly at 7 pm. Zone 1 meets on the month’s third Tuesday. Until further notice, Zone 1 meetings will be held at 4 Chicago Ave (police satellite station), until construction is completed at Hatch School. Zone 2 meets on the first Tuesday at Mann School. North Oak Park residents and business/property owners are encouraged to attend. Zone meetings are a great way to get to know your RBO and your neighbors, share concerns and help advance safety in your neighborhood.