Target store coming to downtown Oak Park

Clark Street Real Estate to bring retail chain to Lake and Harlem

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Clark Street Real Estate, developer of the mixed-use development Elevate Oak Park, announced Tuesday it has secured a deal to bring a Target retail store to its 22,000-square-foot retail space near the corner of Lake and Harlem.

The developer described the location in a press release as a "flexible-format store" that will include a grocery section, men's and women's apparel, electronics, toys and sporting goods, home goods and other departments typical of the retailer. The store is expected to open in October 2017.

The Clark Street press release noted that the "customized stores" have been a success with Target customers in densely populated urban and suburban areas and on college campuses.

The retail chain operates 30 of the flexible-format stores, four of which are in Chicago. Target plans to open three more in the city in 2017.

A Clark Street representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

Clark Street Principal Andy Stein said in the press release that the anchor tenant "will be a great addition for the residents of Oak Park by providing a convenient shopping experience and great neighbor to the community."

Oak Park Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb praised the announcement, saying village government's commitment to the Clark Street project is starting to pay dividends by bringing new jobs and more foot traffic to downtown.

"It's really a testimony on how we all have come together to set the stage for retailers like Target to view Oak Park as a priority market for them," he said.

Abu-Taleb said the Target would help revitalize downtown and increase property values in the village.

Asked whether the village board had discussed any tax breaks or other incentives to bring Target to downtown, Abu-Taleb said it was unlikely.

"The taxpayers have already invested in bringing the developer (Clark Street) into the location," he said.

The Elevate Oak Park development, a project by Clark Street and Lennar Multifamily Communities, will include 271 luxury apartments, 26,000 square feet of retail space and a five-story parking garage.

Clark Street broke ground on the project in November 2015 and is expected to complete construction in spring of 2017. The development is located on land previously owned by the village of Oak Park and used for parking near the corner of Harlem and Lake. The entire project is located just east of the Gap and Pier One shopping strip on Harlem Avenue in an area bounded by Marion Street, Lake Street and North Boulevard.

The village has projected that the development will bring 500 new residents to downtown Oak Park and generate roughly $25 million annually in property taxes.

The project hit a snag earlier this year, when submerged leaking oil tanks were discovered when workers began excavation of the site. The Oak Park Board of Trustees was successful in getting both Oak Park school districts to agree to tap the Downtown Tax Increment Finance District for $3 million to clean up the site.


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Reader Comments

53 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Comment Policy

Tom Alan  

Posted: December 2nd, 2016 10:43 AM

It always seems some people can only find negatives, reach for the positives my people.

Christopher L. Negron  

Posted: November 30th, 2016 8:23 PM

I'm surprised the town didn't put more condos and empty storefronts on top of the condos and empty storefronts.

Laura Lallos  

Posted: November 30th, 2016 2:25 PM

This is not the clearest reporting or writing. Is it certain that Target is not getting any tax breaks? That certainly affects my opinion of this addition. "'Asked whether the village board had discussed any tax breaks or other incentives to bring Target to downtown, Abu-Taleb said it was unlikely."

Patrick Erwin  

Posted: November 30th, 2016 9:41 AM

I believe this will be closer in size to the Target on Clark Street in Chicago - Brian's comments about a "jumbo Walgreens" is pretty on point, though the smaller one has housewares/hardware items and clothing.

Mike Hanline  

Posted: November 30th, 2016 9:21 AM

Brian does his homework.

Brian Chang  

Posted: November 30th, 2016 9:11 AM

I agree this will be a local draw, but you gotta keep in mind this will be only 22,000 sq ft so it won't be nearly as comprehensive as a typical Target which in comparison average 135,000 sq ft, and even the city Target on State St is 54,000 sq ft. An average Walgreens store has 11,000 sq ft, so this will basically be a jumbo Walgreens.

Bridgett Baron  

Posted: November 30th, 2016 1:41 AM

Regarding the parking garage: Looking at the developer's website, the entrance and exit will be on Maple Ave., not North Blvd. And the parking garage is not for residents.The website states that there will be a "418 car public parking garage." Residents could probably buy monthly passes, but there are no designated parking spaces for residents. It's all going to be public parking. And right across Lake street is the Holley Court garage with 1,200+ spaces.

Robin Basney from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 9:04 PM

Target is helpful to a mom like me. I'd love to see a sports store like LL Bean or REI go into the old Borders location. Or one of the new Marriott Moxy urban hotels.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 8:29 PM

I beg to differ, Brian. Will draw from OP and RF. Forest Park, part of Elmwood Park and Austin. Have you ever travelled from Forest Park to the Broadview Target? Parking isn't the issue. Traffic and time is, and too often the trains.

Brian Chang  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 7:49 PM

Since there are 5 Targets within 3 miles of Oak Park, all with huge parking lots (to the north, west, southwest, and south east), I doubt this particular mini-Target will attract many car-driving customers from outside Oak Park/River Forest. It will be very attractive to people taking public transit and on foot, however.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 7:40 PM

Target is a $74 billion revenues corporation. They know what they are doing when they put a store into a location. The specific strategy is to have a smaller store that is going to be just fine selling to millenials living in close proximity. Like the rental properties going in all around this store. Whether everyone in Oak Park can drive their SUV over and park is not really an issue at all.

Ada Johnson Tikkanen  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 7:20 PM

John Wright - it is going to be a nightmare and absolutely needs to be addressed Still happy we are going to have a Target But how do we make it happen? We have no room for much of anything?

John Butch Murtagh  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 7:09 PM

No big deal. My wife and I spend little time downtown. It used to be a good stop, but the last ten years have made it a mess. To those who enjoy downtown; have fun! For those that think the charm of downtown is gone; try Berwyn, LaGrange, etc. etc. There is a lot of charm outside of OP.

Brian Chang  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 7:04 PM

The parking garage will have 588 spaces, some of which will be used by residents of the building, some by commuters taking the train, and the rest by DTOP shoppers. The Holley-Court garage will also be a short distance from the Target as well.

Mark Ruehl from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 7:01 PM

I was anticipating a Target for the Madison and Oak Park Ave. development and a Banana Republic to go across the parking lot from the Gap and Old Navy. What else can we use in Oak Park?

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 6:26 PM

"Riff Raff"? That thuggish but kinda cool wolf in a zootsuit from the Under Dog Cartoon!?. In River Forest? How cool is that? When?

John Wright from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 5:24 PM

So according to the article... "The Elevate Oak Park development, a project by Clark Street and Lennar Multifamily Communities, will include 271 luxury apartments, 26,000 square feet of retail space and a five-story parking garage." If you look at the pictures the parking garage is under the apartment tower with an entrance on North Ave. It is obvious the main purpose (and possibly only purpose) of the garage is going to be for those tenants. I would like to know how many spaces (if any) are going to be made available for the public such as the shoppers at Target. Also what studies have been done on handling the immense traffic flow increase that will be going down North Blvd with parkers coming and going from the store (if the garage will be used for that). The exit route will have to be heading further east down North Blvd to Marion... this is going to be a nightmare with the pedestrian crossings their as they are. What will be the impact for people disembarking from the Metra and Greeline trains who feed out to North Blvd? I am just seeing more greed, another mostly derelict building, and no real impact planning happening. Do we really need to test what the explosion population point for DOP needs to be?

Wendy Greenhouse from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 5:23 PM

Am I the only one who read "riff-raff" as sarcasm?

Kevin Brubaker from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 4:06 PM

I'll disagree with Mr. Strobe for another reason: it is NOT the job of Village employees to do demographic studies to determine what stores are appropriate. That is the job of the merchant. If someone thinks there is demand in Oak Park for a store specializing in toenail polish for puppies and they are willing to put up their own money to test that proposition, who is the Village to say otherwise?

Maggie Den Hartog from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 3:56 PM

Given the horrific parking/traffic/congestion issues we ALREADY have in DTOP and around OP in general, this is a bad plan. Unless I stop in because I happen to be walking by, I'll continue to shop in Broadview where parking is plentiful. I haven't voluntarily driven my car east of Harlem or west of OP Ave anywhere near Lake St. in I don't know how long, and I'm not about to start just so I can shop in OP.

Tom Gull from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 2:54 PM

Excellent comment Tad about retrofitting a 1920s building. For the same reason, the new restaurant Cooper Hawk gobbled up the whole first floor of the new building at Lake and Forest. And all the new residents in this building, Vantage Oak Park, the other new guiding planned on South Blvd will now have another grocery store option, We won't have to put up with the riff raff at the River Forest grocery stores. Sorry, my friends in RF.

Lynne Higgins  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 2:44 PM

Happy to hear that Target is coming to OP! Just wish it could have been in the Marshall Field's Building.

Tad Wefel  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 2:28 PM

BTW, Target would never consider Oak Park if its only option was the Marshall Field building. The floor plates don't work for their current merchandise offerings. Same idea why Menard's moved west on North Avenue to a brand new store. This developer can create something the owner of Marshall Field's building could not likely accommodate nor afford. Retrofitting a 1920's era building is cost-impossible.

Tad Wefel  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 2:22 PM

Wonder what the reaction was in 1929 upon Marshall Field's opening a store in the western suburbs? Big boxes and downtown Oak Park have a history longer than most people who care (or don't care) about downtown OP's merchandise mix.

Ada Johnson Tikkanen  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 2:13 PM

Isn't the Marshall Field's building going to be a bank? Did that fall through?

Bob Larson  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 2:13 PM

This Riff-raffer will gladly shop there. I hope I don't offend the sensibilities of River Forest Marty!!!

Mike Hanline  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 1:29 PM

Isn't the Marshall Field's building being largely leased to a healthcare company?

Steve Kelley from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 1:21 PM

Too bad that our village government has no foresight to bring a store like target and move it into the old Marshall Field's Building. This move will bring that building one step closer to demolition. We are in a rush to build new building stock (which is mediocre, btw) and ignore quality buildings that are already in place. Oak Park is NOT a model for sustainable development.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 1:15 PM

Great add to downtown . Handy walking distance for the many renters and condo owners there.

Ellen Edwards from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 1:11 PM

Anyone who says Target shoppers are riff-raff probably hasn't been to a Target store in recent years. This is GREAT NEWS for Oak Park! Someplace to buy clothing, accessories, grocery staples, gifts, housewares - AND have my tax dollars go to Oak Park. Woo-hoo! I'm counting the months.

Mak Custard from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 1:11 PM

Thoroughly perplexed by this move, for sure. Yikes! And I must point out something -- the term "riff-raff" that was just used. First of all reader, you should say what you mean, who is this riff-raff!? ...and then think about this urban village that you live in and ask yourself how you came to be here. Unbelievable.

Barbara Joan  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 1:09 PM

Madison St is desperate for such development and has plenty of parking options; this does not belong in DTOP.

Charlie Meyerson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 1:08 PM

What kind of racist/classist/snob uses the phrase "riff-raff"? Go feed the hounds, Mr. Burns.

Christine Vernon  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 12:58 PM

Mr. Strode, I have to laugh at your comment about attracting the 'riff-raff'. I've got news for you, we are part of the riff-raff here in Oak Park. Not always the biggest Oak Brook shoppers or not the hugest demographic of Neiman Marcus shoppers here in Oak Park. We have to save money where we can to pay our high taxes, maybe things are better in RF. Oak Parkers no longer want to live in a shopping desert when it comes to clothing for kids and other necessities. I just hope that on Lake Street and Marion and other streets in Downtown Oak Park we can have more small family-owned businesses like Lincoln Square because previous administrations drove them all to Forest Park. More money is returned to the community from small businesses evidently. And the lack of a fully thriving Madison is another indictment of past administration. You look at the north side around Lincoln Square and there are no empty store fronts. It's thriving! We have as good or better of a housing stock at better prices but until now, we didn't have anyone with a vision or the will to make things better. I am not for all the rapid development at skyscraper heights. I feel that we are not asking enough from the developers architecturally and we are not planning for good open space in the more densely populated areas now...but I am hoping Oak Parkers will see this and ask for a higher standard for the privilege of a developer locating here in our community which has the amazing legacy of having the work of over 100 architects. Right now, we are giving them more than they are giving us in return. I would like to see this change. Now, though, we have someone to work with in Anan who is so hard-working and approachable. He gets things done.

Mike Hanline  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 12:46 PM

"If anything it will bring in more and more riff-raff. Parking is so rare now and adding THIS KIND OF STORE to the neighborhood..." We're not talking about a dollar store, FFS. I think Target will make a great addition to downtown Oak Park!

Christine Vernon  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 12:44 PM

The Patch has the same story except that it describes the location differently... "The new store will be located at the corner of Lake and Maple Streets." So, will it be on the south side of the tracks? I know that there has been a movement afoot to tear down The Gap for many years. What's up with this proposal? What's the exact plan for the location of the Target, if you please, if you know

Jay Arbetman from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 12:40 PM

It is a good move for our family. Have you ever tried to buy staple items locally? For local stores, this is a mixed bag. Mostly good. Unquestionably, this will be a foot traffic builder. Target arriving in Oak Park is OK. Seeing this being followed by other big box stores would not be good. However, everyone worried about keeping the character of our village has a reason for concern. Target OK. Now follow that by Best Buy, WalMart or Marshall's would be a bad mistake. I too am confused as to why this is being done in new construction when we have vacant space available. Still, this may become a much needed traffic builder.....and a much needed tax revenue builder.

Judith Warren  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 12:37 PM


Alex Garcia  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 12:36 PM

Great news. Downtown Oak Park needs this and it's nice to see that the village itself is behind this.

Marty Strode from River Forest  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 12:12 PM

Big mistake. This will NOT increase any values to Oak Park. If anything it will bring in more and more riff-raff. Parking is so rare now and adding THIS KIND OF STORE to the neighborhood is disgusting. And asking villagers to use a valet service, has OAK PARK GONE MAD????? What happened to high end stores like Crate and Barrel or Macy's? Oak Park needs to hire someone that can do a demographic study of OaK Park and River Forest and see what tax payers need and want. The Oak Park mall is disgraceful. It's no wonder people shop elsewhere.

Tom Alan  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 12:06 PM

I like the idea, I hate how far I have to travel to a target. The boutiques will still be there, so you can still shop in them but a target will be good for other items. I hardly ever drive down town because of the traffic, so I will walk to it as usual. This will also drive more people to our downtown area so maybe they will stop into the boutiques too. Let's look at the positives.

Lee Anderson  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 11:49 AM

This is a great addition to downtown Oak Park!! A store that will actually sell things that people need!! Just like we use to have with Marshall Fields, Montgomery Wards, Lyton's and Wiebolt's across the street in River Forest. There will be an additional 300+ parking spaces in the other part of the development between Westgate and North Blvd. Great for the tax base too.

Nathan Helsabeck  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 11:40 AM

First, can you please stop calling him the Mayor. He is still the Village Board President. Second, there are already Targets in Hillside, Brickyard, Cicero, Melrose Park, and Broadview. Why do we need one here? People move to Oak Park in part because it is a unique community. Moves like this really just make us more like every other suburb.

Jarrett Davis  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 11:35 AM

I would have probably taken this as good news if it were going into the old Marshall Fields/Borders Bookstore space which as sat empty for so long. Instead, as others have said, this seems to be another indication of the changeover from an independent small business focused downtown to just another suburban big box mall. It's unfortunate.

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal Wednesday Journal Employee

Posted: November 29th, 2016 11:32 AM

The story clearly says East of the Gap. Of course, that is only because we changed it after our sharp-eyed readers spotted the "Target in the middle of Harlem" problem. Thanks all.

Ada Johnson Tikkanen  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 11:19 AM

My dreams have been answered. And now for the backlash of it's going to destroy our small's already started. I personally don't know of any boutiques where I can purchase my kids athletic equipment, laundry detergent or dog food. Granted, maybe those businesses who sell $50 candles may have a drop in sales, but think overall this will do more good than harm for local business. Now if we can just get the inevitable parking and traffic nightmare figured out.

Barbara Purington  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 11:10 AM

Did you mean east of the Gap and Pier One--west is Harlem Ave. Will there be adequate parking? The surface lot outside the Gap and Old Navy is a traffic nightmare. I went to the mini Target in River east last month. One here will keep many dollars from being spent in Melrose Park, Broadview and Hillside.

Janet Haisman from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 11:10 AM

People have been asking for a store like Target for years. It will be in a shopping district, and people will have a choice of this store or the independent ones. It will help with our taxes. I think it's coup for the Village.

Joyce Porter from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 11:07 AM

Nice, but it's too bad it won't be in the Marshal Fields building. I hope they have plenty of parking. It's going to add to the traffic nightmare these new high rises are going to bring.

Henry Kranz  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 11:02 AM

Perhaps the location will be just east of the Gap rather than west of that store.

Jay Ranz  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 11:01 AM

WEST of the Gap???

Melanie Weiss  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 10:57 AM

All this development is leading to what I was afraid of...more of independent stores that give our town character will be forced to close as the chains move in and we are just another suburban shopping mall. I am not a fan of the OP Target.

Jenna Brown Russell  

Posted: November 29th, 2016 10:47 AM


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