Residents chould soon start seeing progress being made on the former Kmart property at 111th Street and Cicero Avenue.
The Oak Lawn Planning and Development Commission unanimously approved site plans for the new Mariano’s Fresh Market and Phase I of the “Stony Creek Promenade.” The plans go before the village board for a vote on Tuesday.
The project will be built in two phases, beginning with a 72,000-square-foot Mariano’s, an as-yet-to-be-named bank, and three retail spaces, including a sit-down restaurant, and water feature.
The developer, Hamilton Partners, of Itasca, hopes to start grading and underground work on the 30-acre site as early as September.
Paul Sheridan, principal developer for Stony Creek Promenade, said that the new Mariano’s is on track for completion in October 2014.
“If we can get the pad constructed in the fall, we can go vertical in spring,” Sheridan said.
Phase I will take up 15 acres, with phase II filling out the remaining acreage. Exact plans for phase II on the western side of the parcel haven’t been designed yet.
“As phase I takes shape, we can anticipate more interest from potential tenants,” Sheridan said, “especially if Mariano’s opens as strong as we anticipate they will.”
Sheridan said that Phase II is large enough accommodate 80,000 to 100,000 square feet of commercial space.
“Mariano’s is the anchor of phase I,” the developer said. “The question becomes, 'who will anchor phase II?'”
Village Manager Larry Deetjen said the developer is already fielding inquiries from interested retail tenants, and negotiating with a prospective restaurateur.
“We have some other exciting companies that we’re talking to, but nothing we can announce yet, but they’re very good tenants,” Deetjen said. “Once phase I is under construction and leased at 80 percent, we start talking with other folks about phase II.”
Rumors of Mariano’s abandoning Oak Lawn’s Stony Creek Promenade project are not true, the village manager said.
“Not only has Mariano’s not pulled out of the deal, they executed their lease with the village’s developer,” Deetjen said. “Hamilton Partners directed the selection of the general contractor. He’s getting his subcontractors in line and is anxious to get going.”
Constructions permit fees are currently being worked out, the village manager added.
Milwaukee-based Roundy Supermarkets, a grocery company that operates the Mariano’s stores helmed by former Dominick’s CEO Bob Mariano. Mariano’s stores are reputed to be a magnet for attracting upscale retailers to new retail developments.
Roundy’s is aggressively pushing into the Chicago market, with three stores slated to open before the end of 2013, and hopes to continue expanding until there are 30 stores in the Chicago-region.
Another Mariano’s store is planned for Evergreen Park at the former Webb Ford site.
According to Lake Zurich Trib Local, Roundy’s isn’t worried about over-saturating the local market:
"We spend a lot of time researching what the best geographies are, and we've been successful," said James Hyland, vice president of investor relations and corporate communications for Roundy's. "A lot of effort goes into where we place these stores."
Hamilton Partners representatives will be at village hall on Tuesday for the vote by Oak Lawn trustees.