A proposal for a significant new mixed-use development on Madison Street that originally planned to bend part of the roadway to make room for a grocery store was in trouble earlier this year.

Negotiations between Jupiter Realty, the village’s preferred developer, and the unnamed grocer had broken down for the blockbuster project that would run along Madison from Oak Park Avenue to Wesley Avenue, taking up large parcels of land on both sides of the street.

But Jerry Ong, a principal at Chicago-based Jupiter, tells Wednesday Journal that the village’s tentative approval allowing closure of South Euclid Avenue at Madison by way of a cul-de-sac brought the retailer “back to the table.”

The village approved issuing a request for proposals in the first week of May, and Jupiter says it will submit new plans for the project.

Ong said he first proposed the idea of bending Madison Street to widen a parcel of land on the south side of Madison. “There was no other way to create a site that would accommodate a larger footprint retail component that would be a business anchor to a development,” he said.

The newest iteration of the project would take up the village-owned parking lot at the corner of Oak Park Avenue, the adjacent Car-X Tire & Auto, 700 Madison St., purchased by the village in September for $1.3 million, and the long-vacant Foley-Rice car dealership on the north side of Madison Street east of Euclid.

Jupiter has the Foley-Rice building under contract as well as the parcel of land on the south side of Madison currently occupied by Evolution Fitness Club, 711 Madison St., Ong said.

He said closing Euclid is crucial to the new version of the project because it allows Jupiter to connect the two parcels of land between the street.

Oak Park Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb told Wednesday Journal in April that the newest version of the plan would build a two-story building at the corner of Madison Street and Oak Park Avenue. The grocer would be located on the second floor and retail spaces would occupy the ground level. The structure on north side of Madison, east of Euclid, would include condos and parking for the grocery store.

Abu-Taleb said the parking and condo structure would be 115-feet tall and include four levels of grocery store parking and five floors of condos, but Ong said architects and planners at Jupiter have not committed to those numbers.

The public will get more details when the village issues its request for proposals (RFP) for the project. Jupiter was chosen as the preferred developer in 2016, but abandonment of the original proposal has prompted the village to issue a new RFP.

Ong said he believes the project will help revitalize Madison Street. “The concept of the development was to create a catalyst for positive change on Madison Street,” he said.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

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