Jupiter Realty crossed a major milestone this week in its plan to develop the 600 and 700 blocks of Madison Street – Oak Park to Wesley avenues – securing a letter of intent from grocer Jewel-Osco for a 55,000-square-foot store on the north side of the street, according to Jupiter principal Jerry Ong.
The developer is working on the blockbuster development, which also includes property on the south side of the street, while it awaits a response from the Village of Oak Park on its request for proposals for the project.
Jewel-Osco has long operated a much smaller store further east on Madison Street. The future of that site is uncertain at this time.
Jupiter was chosen as the preferred developer in 2016 with a proposal that would have located a grocery store as the anchor tenant on the south side of Madison and reoriented the roadway to increase the size of the parcel of land between South Euclid and Wesley avenues.
That proposal was abandoned when Jupiter was unable to secure an anchor tenant. Ong said in an exclusive interview Friday afternoon that his firm had reached a tentative deal with Mariano’s in the so-called “road-bend” iteration of the development plan, but within 30 hours of sealing the deal it was announced that Mariano’s parent company, Milwaukee-based Roundy’s, was selling the chain to grocery chain Kroger, a move that ultimately killed the deal with Jupiter.
The village initially launched the request for proposals in a search for developers interested in the village-owned parking lot at the northeast corner of Oak Park Avenue and Madison Street. Jupiter has since put several properties under contract on the north and south side of Madison Street in anticipation of a wider development.
The deadline for development applications ended Friday, July 6. They are being reviewed by the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation, a contractor hired by the village to recruit business to the village. OPEDC’s Viktor Schrader said four proposals were submitted.
Ong released a copy of the “Shops on Madison Street” proposal to Wednesday Journal, which includes 36,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor, running along the north side of Madison Street from Oak Park to Wesley avenues.
The 55,000-square-foot Jewel would be located above the shops between Oak Park Avenue and Euclid, according to the proposal. “The combined effect of this new retail space will be a catalyst for the redevelopment of the entire Madison corridor,” the proposal notes. “The project as designed will provide ample parking in a structured garage comprising 380 spaces.”
The proposal calls for a cul-de-sac closing off Euclid Avenue on the north side of Madison – a sky bridge over a plaza at the intersection of Euclid and Madison would connect the two properties, Ong said. A parking garage will be located between Euclid and Wesley, and, as currently designed, three stories of 36 to 48 condominium units will go above that.
Those condos will range from 690 to 1,730 square feet – 23 will have three-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom units and three one-bedroom units, the plan notes. Ong said the size and number of the units could change some if Jupiter is chosen as the preferred developer.
“Our units are designated to offer a greatly needed residential alternative in the Village of Oak Park,” the plan states. “Our units will provide quality housing for our neighbors who want to downsize, stay in Oak Park and move into a new home at an attractive price point.
“Large patios will provide unique outdoor space for a third of the units and large balconies will serve the balance of the units and offer residents great views.”
He said he believes that “not everybody who’s (in Oak Park), when they’re done with their house, wants to go downtown or to Westchester.”
Ong said he is currently negotiating with various restaurants to bookend the development to the east and west. It still is uncertain what would be located on the south side of the street in the property that once served as a Foley-Rice car dealership. Ong said a senior housing development mixing independent and assisted living units is a possibility. The long-defunct Foley-Rice showroom on the north side of Madison would be torn down to make room for the development, Ong said.
A preliminary timeline for the proposal would begin construction in spring of 2020 and be completed in the summer of 2021.
Jupiter projects the project would generate approximately $35.8 million in property taxes and over $21 million in sales taxes over 20 years, assuming annual growth of 2.8 percent.
Ong said the project would be a “game changer” for Madison Street that would benefit locals and make the commercial corridor a destination for the village. “Altogether, the development plan will create a town center ambiance from Oak Park Avenue to Wesley Avenue and serve as the springboard for future growth and development of the entire Madison Street Corridor,” the proposal states.