The community got its first look at the plans for the proposed Madison Street Pete’s Market during a Jan. 24 public meeting at Oak Park’s main library.
If the application, which will soon be submitted by Pete’s to village staff, is approved, the grocery store will be built on the 600 and 700 blocks of Madison Street, between Oak Park and Wesley Avenues, across from a planned senior residential project.
The new grocery store would help “revitalize Madison Street.”
Oak Park currently has a Pete’s Market, 259 Lake St., the popularity of which inspired the grocery store chain to build a second location in the village.
“We feel we can replicate that success with some lessons learned,” said Stephanie Dremonas, daughter of Pete’s co-founder Jimmy Dremonas.
Such lessons learned include the importance of having parking more readily available to customers, as well as employees. Finding parking at the Lake Street location is difficult, as spaces are limited.
The plans for the two-story, 49,000 square feet grocery store include 115 underground employee parking spots and 131 surface level parking spots for customers.
“Parking was a main focus of the design,” said plan architect Ken Nadolski, of API Architects. Pete’s Market doesn’t want customers parking in residential streets, burdening nearby residents.
The building’s rectangular design is both long and thin, described as “very modern” with “a lot of clean lines and glass,” with a front and back mezzanine.
Construction of the building, as planned, would require the demolition of the historic Foley-Rice automotive building, 644 Madison St., which displeased about half of the small group of attendees at the meeting.
The Foley-Rice site could not physically support underground parking and the mezzanines, but the architect plans to “save what [they] can of the building.”
To memorialize the Foley-Rice building, gargoyles on its façade will be repurposed and displayed on the new building, facing Madison Street.
The plans place the grocery store’s loading dock and trash receptacles on Wesley Avenue.
Pete’s Market also proposes a cul de sac on Euclid Avenue, which would match up with a new cul de sac planned Euclid across Madison Street adjacent to the proposed senior assisted living complex.
A traffic study is in progress but won’t be completed in time to include its findings in the project’s initial application. Landscape plans are also still in progress.
Pete’s Market plans to hold another public meeting at the Oak Park Arms on Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.