While plans to bend Madison Street to create a larger development site at Oak Park Avenue are likely dead, plans to bring a grocery store and condominiums to the village-owned site are nearing 100 percent, Oak Park Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb said in an interview.
Abu-Taleb says behind-the-scenes negotiations with Jupiter Realty, which was chosen by the village board as the preferred developer for the site in 2016, and a number of grocery chains have ended the discussion of bending a portion of Madison Street. Both Jewel-Osco and Mariano’s had looked at the proposed bend site, Abu-Taleb said in November, but had ultimately passed.
The proposal, first unveiled in 2016, would have placed the anchor tenant grocery store on the south side of Madison Street and bent the roadway between Euclid and Wesley avenues to expand the parcel of land for the development.
Abu-Taleb said the developer and the village are now planning to place a grocery store on the north side of Madison on the village-owned parking lot at the corner of Madison and Oak Park Avenue. The revised proposal would fold in the former Car-X Tire & Auto, 700 Madison St., which the village purchased last September for $1.3 million.
Under the new plan, Abu-Taleb said a two-story retail building would rise on the northeast corner of Madison and Oak Park Avenue. A major grocer would occupy the second floor of the structure, with an additional 25,000 square feet of ground-level retail.
The proposal also would incorporate the next block to the east, between Euclid and Wesley, a portion of the long-vacant Foley-Rice car dealership. Jupiter Realty reportedly has control of that site. It is uncertain what might happen to the façade of the one-time Packard auto showroom which occupies half of that block. It could be demolished or preserved in some way.
The plan calls for construction of four levels of grocery store parking and five floors of condominiums on the site. The 40-plus condos would price out at an average of $450,000. The nine-story structure would reach 115-feet in height. The grocery store and parking structure would be connected by a sky bridge, and Euclid Avenue would be closed off from Madison Street with a landscaped plaza/cul-de-sac.
“Madison Street is in need of development,” Abu-Taleb said in an interview with Trustee Bob Tucker, who also has been privy to the negotiations.
Abu-Taleb noted that that stretch of Madison now generates about $130,000 annually in property taxes. The development being negotiated would bring in a projected $50 million in property and sales tax revenue over a 20-year period, he said. It is unclear what financial incentives the developer or primary tenants would seek in final discussions.
“This is all about making no small plans,” Tucker said.
The two officials said the village could use money from the Madison Street Tax Increment Finance District to underwrite direct village costs or incentives but the Madison Street TIF expires at the end of 2018. The TIF district could be extended another 12 years, but that would require the approval of the other taxing bodies including the school districts, township and park district.
Abu-Taleb said extending the TIF would be a valuable tool in advancing the project.