H.J. Mohr & Sons liquidating property

Company likely to go up for sale in the coming months

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

It's been about a year since it became public knowledge that Oak Park's oldest business was on the rocks.

Now, H.J. Mohr & Sons Co. is liquidating the remainder of its stock and equipment and planning to sell the nearly 3-acre property where the concrete manufacturer is located at Harlem Avenue and Garfield Street.

Karen Richards, a principal of Mohr & Sons, said in a telephone interview that the company recently sold all of its trucks and is selling the remainder of its goods.

"We have some tools and there's some truck parts, and we do have some China clay and some bagged goods," she said.

She said the property, which takes up more than a full block near the Eisenhower Expressway, is not officially on the market, but there have been interested buyers.

Richards revealed that another concrete manufacturer was interested in purchasing the property over the summer, but the deal ultimately fell through.

She said it's been hard seeing the business close, adding that it's "sad" since Mohr has been in operation since 1893.

Mohr also owns the shopping center north of the concrete business, but Richards said she's unsure what will happen to that property.

Viktor Schrader, of the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation, said it is uncertain when the property will go on the market.

"We've been in touch with ownership, but as far as we know they're deciding what their next step is," he said.

Schrader said there has been some interest from a diverse group of developers but it is unknown what will ultimately become of the property.

"I think it runs the gamut," he said of the possible uses for the property. "People recognize that it's an opportunity, but they're exploring what the potential is."

Schrader noted that the property is zoned for general commercial use.

The company ceased operations in 2018, and it's not a modern factory "so it's less likely it stays a concrete company," Schrader said.

He added that there is a "preference for it to be turned into something else, whether it is residential or office or some other commercial use."


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Reader Comments

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Comment Policy

Dave Slade from Oak Park  

Posted: April 1st, 2019 2:34 PM

But I do wait for the day where OP is on the hook to clean this up when Mohr files bankruptcy. Correct, the village is not liable, but a show of hands who thinks a developer will pay to clean up whatever mess is below ground?

Jenna Brown Russell  

Posted: March 31st, 2019 7:32 AM

The village does not own this property. Other than any zoning variances requested, the village has no liability for, nor control over, this property. I understand Oak Parkers like to say what should be done with the private property of others. Unless one's plan includes purchasing the parcel, such suggestions are of limited value.

Mike Cullen  

Posted: March 31st, 2019 12:30 AM

Agree with Robert Allen. This is an environmental nightmare. Make sure that the Village establishes liability before giving the property to a Developer with no responsibility.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: March 29th, 2019 3:59 PM

extend Maple Park? Oak Park Boys Baseball is looking for a place to put batting cages - that would thrill the neighbors.

Robert Allen  

Posted: March 29th, 2019 12:36 PM

How many millions did it take and how long to clean up Barrie Park? Can only imagine how bad this property is contaminated. It was in business for over a 100 years and before it was a concrete plant it was a coal yard with piles of coal all over property. On maple and in the yard there are old train tracks buried in ground they just paved over. Can only imagine what else was dumped on the property. Oh and let's not forget their magnificent ability to remodel and update the property to make it so beautiful and appealing for not only the villages and their residents but for all the people who drove by shopping or visiting in the neighborhood. Now it's time the village steps up to the plate and make sure that property is clean and safe to be able to be built on and not cause any ilnesses from contamination left behind

Marie T Perkins from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2019 10:25 AM

This place has always been an eye sore. I am not sorry to see it go. Hopefully, the property will be used for something useful and aesthetically pleasing. A 5 story apartment building would be nice and very appealing since it's right by the Eisenhower and the Blue Line.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2019 10:22 AM

Waiting for the historical society to weigh in so we can find a way to save such a beautiful eyesore for future generations.

Tom Gull  

Posted: March 29th, 2019 7:26 AM

Or a 28 story transit-based residential building?

Nick A Binotti  

Posted: March 28th, 2019 9:30 PM

Is this where our new natatorium is going?

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