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Oak Lawn OKs permit for massage spa

Updated: May 24, 2014 6:44AM



A spa that specializes in massage will open in Stony Creek Promenade in Oak Lawn after the village board on Tuesday night narrowly approved a special-use zoning permit.

Mayor Sandra Mayor cast the deciding vote in the board’s 4-3 decision to grant the permit to Massage Envy spa at 111th Street and Cicero Avenue.

Some of the trustees were concerned whether the business was a good fit for the retail redevelopment planned at the major intersection.

Trustee Carol Quinlan did not object to the spa itself but said the developer proposing it was another indication that the redevelopment is not turning out as expected — lacking the upscale dining, clothing and bars that village officials were envisioned when it first was planned about five years ago.

Quinlan claimed that plans by the developer, Hamilton Partners, had been hidden from her, and that it intends to bring in a mattress store, a Starbucks, a sandwich shop and a Great Clips hair salon during the first phase.

“This is not our vision,” she said. “This is just like every other strip mall we have in Oak Lawn.”

Quinlan said she would prefer to see an upscale clothing store over the spa and expressed hope that Massage Envy’s owners would consider moving to a less prominent spot nearby.

Her motion to postpone approval of the special-use permit failed 4-3.

Bury said the reality of the real estate market isn’t the same as it was in 2006, before the severe economic recession. She praised the look of the proposed spa, which would be one of several in the Chicago area, calling the business a “real asset” for Oak Lawn.

Trustee Terry Vorderer visited the Massage Envy in La Grange and described it as a “first-class operation.”

“I can only tell you that this is first class,” Vorderer said. “This fits in with what we’re trying to do there.”

Stony Creek Promenade is expected to see some major businesses open in the next year or so.

In March, Bury announced that a Cooper’s Hawk restaurant would locate there, and construction has begun on a Mariano’s supermarket.

Village officials were unhappy with the decline of the previous retail area on the northwest corner of 111th and Cicero, which included a Kmart, grocery store, auto repair shop and Flap-Jack’s restaurant.

All of the land was acquired by the village and the buildings torn down to make way for the redevelopment project, which is in a special taxing district that provides tax breaks to the developer.



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