Almost one year since its last potential buyer backed out, the Mohr concrete site is back under contract as of May 26, according to the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation (OPEDC). A Hinsdale-based developer, whose name OPEDC would not yet announce, has yet to formulate specific plans for the site.
“It’s safe to say that a number of options are under consideration at this point,” said John Lynch, OPEDC executive director. “This developer has experience in most retail sectors.”
Formerly the H.J. Mohr & Sons Co. concrete plant, the property sits on a 3.29-acre plot of land at the corner of Harlem Avenue and Garfield Street and includes a small parcel to the east of South Maple Avenue, which was once used to store trucks.
The site was last under contract in February 2020 to an unnamed developer who was expected to convert the site into retail space with the possibility of using the secondary parcel for residential purposes. Once constructed, the developer intended to sell the property.
When COVID-19 hit, the uncertainty of its duration caused the deal to fall apart, according to Peter Poulos, the realtor representing the site. The developer backed out of the contract and the property returned to the market early last summer. Poulos told Wednesday Journal last June that the developer could not get a firm commitment from their retail client.
Lynch called it “too early to say” whether the contractor plans to sell off the parcel once developed, as the previous developer had intended to do. The offer, he said, was made by the developer without having potential buyers or tenants signed.
“For this developer, it’s less about having a preconceived notion of what will work best on the site, and more about them believing in the merits of this location,” he said.
Lynch told Wednesday Journal that he has no prior experience working with this developer. To his knowledge, this will be its first venture in Oak Park.
“I’m just learning about this group myself,” he said. “I don’t have a history with them.”
At the time the site went back up for sale, its listed price was $6.675 million. Lynch did not know the exact figure attached to the current contract.
“I have a fairly good sense of what it is, but I wouldn’t provide that now,” he said.
The developer will conduct an environmental study of the parcel next week, according to Lynch, who believes the developer will possibly need to seek some relief upon determining the site’s end use.
“It’s likely that there will be some type of variance or special use or need for planning commission review.”