Share Your Vision for The Plaza at Our Next Forum

We couldn't be happier from the concerned citizens who supported our first open forum in November. Join us for a forum that will exclusively discuss development of The Plaza on June 28.

Everyday I have the pleasure of meeting concerned citizens who truly want to affect change in Evergreen Park. To date, one of the hottest topics among you have been its blight and what Evergreen Parkers want to see done in the space. We'd like to hear more of your development ideas for the space in our upcoming forum.

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Long before the nearly 60-year-old Plaza went in February, , known to be one of the first enclosed malls in the country. As indoor mall trends slowly died, interest in retailers declined and the economy tanked, owners of the mall found themselves last summer.

Some hope was instilled by plans for The Plaza, the company currently under contract to purchase, who hopes to turn the development into an outdoor mall.

But we want to know what your vision would be for the intersection of 95th Street and Western Avenue. Our Evergreen Parker Chris Clair, will moderate our discussion and this time, we will compile your suggestions into document to present to the Village of Evergreen Park.

Since the deal has not technically been made yet, we believe that our residents would have invaluable suggestions to add.

at , beginning at 7 p.m. Grab your neighbors and bring your hopes and dreams for what could be Evergreen Park's next biggest development. We're still buzzing from the input you gave us and would like to revisit that with more direct action behind our mission.

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Concerned Citizen June 05, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Why bother having a forum? The EP mayor and trustees already have a plan in place and do not want any input from the community. They never listen to the the business or residential community unless it is already in agreement with what they were planning on doing to start with.
Dee June 05, 2012 at 01:54 PM
I believe there is some truth to this comment.
Southside Supporter June 05, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I agree with this comment 100%
EP Lover June 05, 2012 at 02:08 PM
I agree with Unknown. I'll be happy to read the article synopsis but I think that there's little point in attending the meeting. I also think that a lot of things EP residents may want will not work in the space given the challenges of the location. Look at Walmart and the the regular reports of shoplifting that take place there. In reality, the threat of crime (petty or otherwise) will likely preclude the most desirable forms of development. Sad but true that this is EP's reality.
Renita Young June 05, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Hi Everyone. I completely understand all of your concerns. We would present your suggestions to our village. Keep in mind that the deal is technically not done yet. At the meeting where GMX Real Estate and its partners gave the presentation, both EP and Beverly residents raised good questions that the company said they hadn't considered or considered differently...i.e. bike parking, accessibility for pedestrians, etc. We welcome ALL suggestions, some that are based on the presentation or a different kind of development. Our hope is that the village would take its residents' suggestions into consideration as it is still negotiating the deal. But just out of curiosity, what would make you want to attend? We feel that this is still a valid concern in the village. Thank you, Renita Young, Evergreen Park Patch Editor
Southside Supporter June 05, 2012 at 04:53 PM
I think Chris Clair's ideas about Evergreen Park development consistently hit the mark and should be (should have been) taken into account. We MUST focus on development from a regional perspective, embrace walkable/bikeable retail developments and include input and help from the historic Beverly Hills/ Morgan Park/Mt. Greenwood communities. This is a defining moment that will impact our portion of the southside for many many years to come and taking an “Us vs. Them” stance is not going to be productive for anyone. Who is ready to fight for the future, when we can’t move on from the past? As I see it, it comes down to vision and long term planning, which is required for the success of these developments, but I don’t see any vision or comprehensive planning being demonstrated by our Village leaders. The old Evergreen Plaza, and now the Meijer & Menards development, are truly “incongruous” and “out of context” in our Village. Do you want another 50 acre retail development in your back yard that you don’t want to or feel comfortable going to?
Southside Supporter June 05, 2012 at 04:53 PM
To quote Mr. Clair’s article written about the Meijer & Menards strip mall from the October 2011 Patch “Mayor James Sexton was quoted in the Southtown Star story saying of the residents (opposing the Golf Course development), ‘Let them come on down. They're using the media and social media to fight a fight that is already over with.’" Guess what? The man behind the curtain pulling the strings is still Big Jim Sexton. For the moment, he will be hailed as the savior of Evergreen Park with his promises of future lower taxes and the addition of value retail development, when in reality his legacy (and future revenue) will actually be determined by his gamble on outmoded and “vanilla” styles of retail development. The fact remains that all the cards are in the hands of the house/dealer/player, one person, “The Gambler” Mayor Jim Sexton. Development standards for a comprehensive village code to address location, design and context have unfortunately not been developed to prevent bad development. It’ll be interesting to find out if Mayor Sexton is willing to give us a hand? Check this, and the rest of Chris’ articles, on the Patch: http://evergreenpark.patch.com/articles/as-the-fringe-withers-reinvestment-in-inner-ring-suburbs-is-critical
Helen Cuprisin June 05, 2012 at 05:10 PM
How long have you commenters lived in EP? The Vacco administration was in favor of development in the Evergreen Cemetery, but residents gathered over 6,000 signatures, presented the petitions to Vacco, and the developer decided it wasn't worth it to fight the will of the people. If people would attend village hall meetings and get involved, good things can happen. I was able to convince the village to start curbside recycling in 1990. Our ambulances now have 12-lead EKGs - because I spoke up for them. The village hall needs to be packed with concerned residents - not just for one meeting, but on a regular basis.
Ravadan Patel June 05, 2012 at 08:49 PM
"...input and help from the historic Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Mt. Greenwood communities..." Really? Like all the help those Chicago communities gave EP residents who are still outraged about the new building going on for "retirement home" - directly across the street from a residential neighborhood and next door to an elementary school? You mean like that kind of help? The "defining moments" are happening in the offices of well-connected law firms and developers; residents are free to wring each other's hands and watch.
Cathleen June 05, 2012 at 09:11 PM
I also agree w/Chris Clair's vision for development in EP. I moved here 15 yrs ago b/c of the "village" look. I didn't want to live in a suburb in which every house was cut out of one-of-three molds and where strip malls abound. I'm not saying I am against having big box retailers, but when I look around now, all I see are strip malls and banks. A standard mall is not for us. I fear anyone who wants that will still head to Chicago Ridge or Orland Park, leaving us w/another foreclosed property in 10 years. And I definitely agree w/Ravadan...we don't need any "help" from MG, Beverly, or Morgan Park.
Adam K June 05, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Hey, great idea! Just let Mayor Sexton develop away and piss off all the people from Chicago EVEN MORE so they don't shop here. Did you know that many residents in Beverly are boycotting our businesses? So, when our small businesses fail and the big boxes close, then what???
Gloria Kamper July 10, 2012 at 02:22 PM
So, we should just give up and give in to that "reality"?


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