Demolition starts at former Oak Lawn retail center at 111th and Cicero
By Mike Nolan firstname.lastname@example.org November 11, 2012 11:24PM
Demolition is under way at a vacant strip center at the northwest corner of 111th Street and Cicero Avenue in Oak Lawn. | Supplied photo
Updated: December 13, 2012 10:23AM
Demolition is under way at an Oak Lawn shopping center that formerly housed a Kmart and Dominick’s Finer Foods, the next step in what village officials hope will be a redevelopment of the property at the northwest corner of 111th Street and Cicero Avenue.
Demolition work will continue through the winter, village manager Larry Deetjen said. A development called Stony Creek Promenade is proposed for the site. The creek passes through the north side of the property.
The village has been working to buy other neighboring properties, and on the agenda for Tuesday’s village board meeting is a proposal to buy Interstate Muffler.
Oak Lawn has hired Hamilton Partners to redevelop the site. The company has built several retail properties around the Chicago area, including Ravinia Plaza in Orland Park.
Deetjen said the proposed development won’t be the typical strip mall perched at the edge of an expanse of asphalt, but will incorporate “pedestrian linkage” to the nearby Wolfe Wildlife Refuge operated by the village’s park district, as well as “public spaces” interspersed throughout the development.
The village in February announced the settlement of a years-long legal battle with Sears Holdings Corp., the parent of Kmart, which closed its store at 111th and Cicero earlier this year.
Filed in 2006, the lawsuit accused Oak Lawn officials of exaggerating blight conditions at the property when it formed a special taxing district that included the Kmart store.
Previously, the village bought about 23 acres of the 40-acre property from J.C. Penney, which at one time operated a Treasury store at the location.