The Oak Park Economic Development Corporation (OPEDC) confirmed buyers have made offers on two prime parcels of Oak Park real estate. According to OPEDC Executive Director John Lynch, the site of former concrete company H.J. Mohr & Sons Co. and that of funeral home Drechsler Brown & Williams are under contract pending village approval of plans.
The “L”-shaped Mohr property, 3.29-acre plot of land represented by Realtor Peter Poulos, is located at the corner of Harlem Avenue and Garfield Street, taking up a whole block. It also includes a small area to the east of South Maple Avenue, which was once used to store concrete trucks.
Lynch said to expect the main site on Harlem Avenue to be used for retail. It is also possible that the secondary parcel could be proposed for residential use. Lynch hopes to see plans for the project this spring.
Poulos said the developer hasn’t shared their end use for the property with him, just concepts.
“I can’t disclose the developer’s endgame, but it will obviously not be running a production facility,” Poulos said.
The property has been an industrial-use property since 1893.
“It’s going to be some kind of commercial mixed use subject to the village of Oak Park’s approval,” Poulos said. “I guarantee you it’s going to be a multi-story development just because of the purchase price we have.”
The property was listed at almost $7 million dollars.
“To get their return on investment, they’d need to go multi-story,” Poulos said.
Neither Lynch nor Poulos gave the name of the company that made the offer. Poulos did say the company has six different renderings of what they’d like to put there so far.
The large property is close to the Eisenhower Expressway and the Oak Park Blue Line CTA stop, making it a very exciting prospect for developers.
“I talked to developers interested in car dealerships to a microbrewery to a hotel, condominium, retail development,” Poulos said. “A lot of people have been interested in this site.”
Poulos also said the property is interesting because of its association with Oak Park’s history.
“The Mohr family owned it since 1893 and they supplied a lot of the building materials that went into building Oak Park and the Chicago suburbs,” he said.
According to Poulos, the Mohr family plans to work with the village to maintain some of the property’s history. The developers agreed to incorporate the family’s name somewhere on the property.
“It’s kind of neat they want to leave their mark on stuff,” he said,
The village can expect further housing in the downtown area of Oak Park with the potential sale of the Drechsler Brown & Williams property at 203 S. Marion St.
According to OPEDC, the 34,000-square-foot property is under contract, again pending village approval, for residential use with the possibility of a very small retail unit at the corner of Marion and Pleasant Streets,
Again, Lynch would not divulge the name of the developer but did say that they are “known and respected” and have done other development projects in Oak Park.
Lynch also said that the height and density of the development would be appropriate to the location and lower than the Lincoln Property Company’s Eleven33 residential building located at Harlem Avenue and South Boulevard.
CBRE agents Matthew Ishikawa, Tom Svoboda and Derrick Almassy are representing the property but have yet to return Wednesday Journal’s request for comment.
The property’s current owners, Charles and Lynne Williams, announced their plans last November to sell the land, close the funeral home and retire.
The funeral home had been serving the families of Oak Park for over 139 years.