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Old 02-07-2008, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,522 posts, read 12,699,672 times
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The village of Oak Park is planning redevelopment of prime downtown lots in the superblock area (bounded by Harlem, Marion, Lake, and North Blvd.) One of the proposals involves an urban Target. Other proposals involve a hotel and luxury apartments.

Oak Park, Illinois Village Departments -- Development Services (http://www.oak-park.us/RFQ/index.html - broken link)

Underground big-box retailer, hotel possibilities for Colt superblock



Those of you who are familiar with downtown Oak Park, what do you think about these proposals? I'm partial to the idea of a Target in downtown Oak Park. Oak Park used to have a Marshall Fields store, and I see big box retailers as the modern day successor of the department store. Obviously, the design of the building would have to be high quality, but Target seems to be good at fitting into urban environments, unlike Wal-Mart.
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:54 PM
 
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I agree. I wouldn't be opposed to there not being a big box store, but the community could use one. The closest Target is on North Avenue in Melrose Park. I'd rather see a Target than a Wal Mart. A hotel is a great idea too. I wonder if there would be enough business? I live in the area and don't have much room for out of town guests and the lack of an area hotel has been a problem at times. It may draw tourists that come for the Frank Lloyd Wright Tours. Instead of commuting from downtown, they could spend a night or two in Oak Park. I hope it happens!
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Chicago, Little Village
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisak64 View Post
I agree. I wouldn't be opposed to there not being a big box store, but the community could use one. The closest Target is on North Avenue in Melrose Park. I'd rather see a Target than a Wal Mart. A hotel is a great idea too. I wonder if there would be enough business? I live in the area and don't have much room for out of town guests and the lack of an area hotel has been a problem at times. It may draw tourists that come for the Frank Lloyd Wright Tours. Instead of commuting from downtown, they could spend a night or two in Oak Park. I hope it happens!
I used to live in that area and parking would be an absolute nightmare, unless they did with Oak Lawn did with their Target and build parking into the structure itself. But not only does that building look ugly as sin, you'd still have major traffic issues as cars tried to snake their way down narrow little North Blvd. into the parking deck as they avoid all the pedestrians walking around Marion St. (assuming that Target is the "Destination Retail").

I'd need to see more of this before I'd be inclined to agree that this would be a good plan.
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
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Originally Posted by BRU67 View Post
I used to live in that area and parking would be an absolute nightmare, unless they did with Oak Lawn did with their Target and build parking into the structure itself. But not only does that building look ugly as sin, you'd still have major traffic issues as cars tried to snake their way down narrow little North Blvd. into the parking deck as they avoid all the pedestrians walking around Marion St. (assuming that Target is the "Destination Retail").

I'd need to see more of this before I'd be inclined to agree that this would be a good plan.
A parking deck is included in the preliminary proposal. Actually, a parking deck is included in all preliminary proposals submitted. Traffic would definitely be an issue of concern and would require careful planning. On the other hand, being right next to the metra/green line station, it would be a great draw for transit users/pedestrians.

The alternative of having a hotel also has some merit. Assuming there is enough demand, it would be a way of capturing more spending dollars from Frank Lloyd Wright tourists who come to town for a day but sleep elsewhere. Of course being a transit-oriented development, it would be a convenient and cheaper alternative than loop hotels as well.
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:58 AM
mdz
 
Location: Near West Burbs, IL
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It'd be great for the tax base, but geez, the traffic on Harlem is already such a mess, I can't imagine what happens if the target comes in.
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
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Does anyone think the Colt building and Westgate buildings are worthy of preservation? (I don't.)
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Citizen of the World
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Default My first choice is a nice (but not too pricey) hotel.

Then Target I guess. Absolutely "no" to Walmart. I hope there are some good restaurants with breakfast and dinner options coming in. OP is lacking in that area I think.
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Old 02-08-2008, 02:02 PM
 
11,973 posts, read 28,678,617 times
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Originally Posted by sukwoo View Post
Does anyone think the Colt building and Westgate buildings are worthy of preservation? (I don't.)
Yeah, the Colt building should definitely be preserved!

I think Oak Park could look to Evanston for ideas about how to develop the downtown--minus the high-rise condos, of course. I don't think anything higher than ten or twelve stories would be appropriate for that Lake Street corridor.

A Target would be nice if it were designed well and was well-connected to the sidewalk and street in a pedestrian-friendly manner. And a hotel is a great idea!
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Old 02-08-2008, 02:15 PM
 
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I agree that Target is much better at adapting to urban environments. Wal Mart on the other hand is absolutely brain dead on the issue..F them.
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Old 02-08-2008, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,703 posts, read 92,481,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRU67 View Post
I used to live in that area and parking would be an absolute nightmare, unless they did with Oak Lawn did with their Target and build parking into the structure itself. But not only does that building look ugly as sin, you'd still have major traffic issues as cars tried to snake their way down narrow little North Blvd. into the parking deck as they avoid all the pedestrians walking around Marion St. (assuming that Target is the "Destination Retail").
And when big-box stores set up shop out in open areas to avoid problems like this, they get accused of contributing to sprawl...
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