Turano plans new facility in Oak Park

$10M building to serve as new corporate headquarters for Berwyn bakery

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Turano Baking Co. is looking to build a $10 million, two-story office building in the 6500 block of Roosevelt Road of Oak Park, currently used as a parking lot for the bread baker's delivery trucks.

Anthony Turano took the proposal to the Oak Park Plan Commission on June 7, telling commissioners that the company, which started in Berwyn in 1962, wants to stay "close to home."

"This is where our business grew up," he said.

Turano said the 30-foot-tall facility and adjacent parking lot is expected to cost the company about $10 million. It also would create a cul-de-sac on Scoville Avenue where it meets the east-west alley just north of Roosevelt "for the benefit of the neighborhood," according to the application.

"Our proposed development is to first purchase Scoville from the alley to Roosevelt from the village, combine the properties and put up a single-tenant office building for our headquarter operations," Turano said.

Commissioners voiced concerns about the heat-island effect that would be created from the large 96-stall parking lot and the request to make erect an 8-foot-high security fence around the perimeter of the parking lot. 

The structure would have a brick and glass façade, Turano said.

"Our goal was not to match the condo building next to us, nor was it to totally contradict the design of the condo building … but to blend in with the rest of the area," Turano said. "We don't want to call too much attention to ourselves. We're a family-owned and -operated business and part of our third generation. We just want to bake bread and make people happy in that manner."

Commissioner Lawrence Brozek said he was concerned about the architectural continuity along the commercial corridor, since the building would be located next to the condo building to the east.

"If you're trying to get some architectural continuity on a street, I think maybe it's not as strong as it should be," he said.

Floyd Anderson, a consultant with the village who advises on architectural design on proposed projects, said, "Would I prefer to see more street frontage along here and not a parking area adjacent to a building structure? Yes, I would. But it's a single-tenant building. It's a large, long rectangular site. I'm not sure what else the solution would be here."

Brozek also questioned Turano's request to erect a taller-than-allowed security fence. The current zoning requires fences to be 6 feet or shorter.

"Is security really an issue that you need a tall fence in this area?" he asked. "Are these employees really at risk? I kind of question the need for a tall fence on Roosevelt."

Turano said security is a major issue along Roosevelt, noting: "I had three employees assailed in our parking lot last week. Yes, security is a grave issue."

Commissioner Paul May suggested the company use part of its public art funding requirement for the project — such buildings must contribute a portion of the cost to include public art — to create embellishments to decorate the black aluminum fence.

Turano said he would look into the possibility but noted the high cost of the project as a potential roadblock.

"Frankly, I am under a very tight budget at this point, and all of these little things will add to my cost," he said. "This facility is approaching $10 million, which is double what it should cost, so we're going to be watching that very closely as we get further into this. Yeah, we'll consider it. Will we ultimately do it? I can't say until I have a price tag to it unfortunately."

The commission will further consider the project at its next meeting, scheduled for July 5.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

Reader Comments

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Jen Purrenhage  

Posted: July 20th, 2018 7:48 PM

As a OP neighbor of the Berwyn location (a few blocks from me), I'm surprised by the comment from another poster. There's nothing unpleasant or unattractive about the location. I mean, yes, it is a factory which means it's a big brick wall on the street, but I assume it's paying lovely factory property taxes too. And the store is attractively designed (and one of the few places you can get fresh baked goods on a Sunday). And there's the heavenly smell. I'd share my neighborhood with a Turano location any day.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: July 20th, 2018 2:51 PM

Neither Oak Park nor Berwyn can "benefit" from Turano's corporate profits. They're not a state or federal government. Oak Park CAN, however, benefit from increased real estate taxes from the Turano property improvements. If, that is, they don't talk Turano out of erecting the new building.

J.Martin Konecki  

Posted: July 20th, 2018 11:50 AM

Will Oak Park see any benefits via taxes from Turano corp profits?

Gary S Collins from Oak park   

Posted: June 21st, 2018 10:14 AM

We should welcome the investment in our community The Turano family and company are wonderful citizens They hve stayed loyal to the communities where the family business was started They could have easily moved elsewhere They care about their employees and community

Lynette Reidy  

Posted: June 16th, 2018 9:33 AM

Oak Park Beware!! Take a look at the Berwyn side. Turanos also claimed they would add value and beauty when they took over the alley side of south Roosevelt. The cudlesacs are concrete walls, ugly vinyl fencing, views of trucks and cars. We lost several old trees for patches of asphalt, gravel and unkept grass. I don't think they even have a concept or understanding of how to blend into the neighborhood or just don't care. PLUS shady practices along with the city of Berwyn pertaining to the closing of all of the Berwyn streets between East and Ridgeland. Hope Oak Park has a better option. Berwyn city officials failed their residents.

Eric Davis from Oak Park  

Posted: June 14th, 2018 7:42 PM

The heat island concern is real as is the need for greenspace. I share concern that the lot doesn't appear to be permeable paving. I also agree with Larry Brozek - the fence doesn't need to be higher. Eyes on the street - also known as windows - are a far more effective deterrent. Plus, it makes the adjacent sidewalk less safe by taking away either an option to flee or another neighbor at that point to be watching. But those are all fixable - it is great that the Turano family wants to stay and grow. I just wish they'd also grow a green roof.

Thomas White from Oak park   

Posted: June 14th, 2018 10:57 AM

Please don't close the street. The last thing we need is to sell our streets to turano. Look at berwyn they bought all those streets along Roosevelt rd. It's a nightmare getting around those streets. Just ask the neighborhood. It's time for turano to scale things down. We are a quit residential neighborhood. Let's keep it that way. We live on 1100 block of Scoville ave.

Neal Buer from Oak Park  

Posted: June 13th, 2018 6:32 PM

Where are all the "stylish" comments? Doesn't Roosevelt Road deserve better? Shouldn't the village require that Studio Gang Architects design the building?

Carolyn Cullen  

Posted: June 13th, 2018 5:37 PM

They could better explain why it may cost "double what it should", if it's just a two-story office building. The Environment and Energy Commission has pushed to have new contruction include elements like geothermal heating/cooling, green roofs, solar, etc, and those costs come down all the time, but haven't been embraced as much as they could be.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: June 13th, 2018 4:10 PM

Lets knock down all the buildings and recreate a prairie everywhere in town. Or, the people who want more green space could move out to the country, lots of that when you leave the city. Roosevelt is grim, any development there is a blessing.

Thomas J. Thorson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 13th, 2018 3:52 PM

Mary Pikul, exactly right! All it takes is a glance to the Berwyn side to see how Turano built right out to the sidewalk, leaving no room for any trees or greenery. It creates a tunnel effect down Roosevelt Road. The Village needs to require a green setback.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: June 13th, 2018 10:27 AM

Lets embellish the security wall so the criminals get something nice to look at as they try to get in to the parking lot. Stop nitpicking and let this nice development happen. That area needs it.

Tom Gull  

Posted: June 13th, 2018 7:40 AM

Glad to see new development on Roosevelt, finally.

Jim Kelly  

Posted: June 12th, 2018 5:11 PM

The Plan Commission and the developer need to study the form-based zoning overlay that was created as part of the Roosevelt Road redevelopment.

Mary Pikul  

Posted: June 12th, 2018 3:35 PM

Commissioners, It is time that you begin to require that all new building construction include green space in their design. For a Village, once known for its lush trees, I am shocked that this does not even appear to come into the minds of those who are on the planning commission. New construction is being built square up to the sidewalk, and as a "kind gesture" to the Village of OP, they offer a pot of flowers. I do not understand where the planning and design has gone.

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