The long vacant and now demolished Billy's Fruit Market could become the second Oak Park branch of Hinsdale Bank, a community bank subsidiary of Wintrust Bank. Unlike the not yet opened Oak Park Avenue branch, Hinsdale Bank plans to build a drive-thru location at 400 Madison St., the empty lot where Billy's once stood.
"We thought that particular location on Madison and Ridgeland [Avenue] was reasonably well trafficked, reasonably convenient," said Hinsdale Bank Chair Dennis Jones. "And we could be a part of the revitalization of Madison."
Hinsdale Bank has always planned to implement a two-location strategy upon deciding to open branches in Oak Park, according to Jones, with one located in or near downtown and one with drive-thru capabilities. Both locations will be called Oak Park Bank.
The bank is moving quickly to build a dual presence in Oak Park. In September, Hinsdale Bank announced plans to open its first branch in the Hemingway District's Scoville Square building, using the space that once housed Winberie's restaurant, 151 N. Oak Park Ave.
"We will begin the process of turning the former Winberie's into a bank branch sometime in January," said Jones.
The branch has a planned opening date of early summer and Hinsdale Bank is already making headway on that goal.
"The interior has gone through the demolition process," said Jones. "We expect to receive our construction drawings from our architects within the next week or 10 days."
The Zoning Board of Appeals will hear Hinsdale Bank's Madison Street application, which will require a special use permit for the drive-thru, Dec. 17. Jones said the bank is working with the village of Oak Park's engineering department to configure traffic related to the drive thru.
The bank hopes to break ground on the second branch in late winter or early spring, with an opening date in late 2021.
"The facility itself will only be about 2,200 square feet on one floor," said Jones. "It'll look higher because it's a high ceiling and architecturally, we wanted to fit in with the neighborhood."
Hinsdale Bank does not own the Billy's property yet but has control of it via contract and will close on the sale upon receiving approval from the village board. The village of Oak Park has a lien on the property. Its current owner, Kyun Se Seok Living Trust, owes $11,250 for three unpaid adjudication fines.
"The fines were the result of adjudication judgments based on building code violation citations," said Tammie Grossman, development customer services director of the village of Oak Park.
The current owner will typically pay the fines when the property transfers ownership, according to Grossman.
Compared to the full-service Scoville Square branch, Jones said the Madison location is meant to be more of a convenience facility with parking, an ATM and a drive thru.
While people will be able to conduct business with a teller or personal banker at the Madison branch, they will have to go to Scoville Square for such services as commercial lending, real estate lending, mortgage lending and trusted investment advisory.
The bank has received a warm reception from the community since announcing their expansion into Oak Park, according to Jones.
"We have been sort of blessed with outreach from a number of organizations in Oak Park, welcoming us and giving us opportunities to do business in Oak Park."
Answer Book 2019
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