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Residents Dream Out Loud for the Future of The Plaza

Thursday, residents had their voice heard about development ideas for The Plaza Shopping Center. Read what some of them had to say, then add your suggestion in the comments.

Updated, June 29 5:59 a.m.

We'd like to thank everyone who came out to support our second forum, both in-person and virtually through our live blog.

? What types of stores do residents want in-town? What would set Evergreen Park apart from other municipalities? How can we bring this to The Plaza's space? These were all questions raised--and answered-- at our discussion.

As Patch has covered the topic there has been an overwhelming amount of comments suggesting popular commercial developments such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. On Thursday, we dug a little deeper into what made those developments so attractive, as well as unique ideas that weren't presented before.

We are now in the process of compiling all suggestions into a document to present to the village of Evergreen Park, so that officials will have something on-record as suggestions from residents for the development.

Re-play our live blog, then add your comments at the bottom.

Check back with Patch for continuing coverage of the ideas presented at .

Original Post: June 28, 6 a.m.

The day is finally here!

This evening, we present our second forum , hosted by our Evergreen Parker, Chris Clair, which will focus exclusively on the re-development of and the ideas you have for developing the space.

and since the deal has not technically been made, we want to hear your suggestions. so we want to encourage you to come out and participate, no matter what your suggestion or vision for the mall may be.

During this live blog, Evergreen Park Patch editor Renita Young will be happy to field your questions and comments to the crowd.

Join the conversation!

Like Evergreen Park Patch on Facebook and tell your friends about our forum.

t June 29, 2012 at 02:04 PM
How about a movie theater or a drive in there are none around but again the riff raff will ruin that.
Dawn McNamara June 30, 2012 at 04:19 AM
I am VERY offended by the comment"No one in Evergreen goes east of Kedzie, its the ghetto" On my block alone we have two school board members and a Village trustee. Some of the homes for sale behind the hospital are of higher value than houses west of Kedzie. We generate more industry on the east side, which helps keep taxes down. Our schools have better test scores than the two on the west side, it is hard to understand, but because of our sub groups, we are choice schools.Our Village clerk lives on this side. So to the person that made that comment, and to the people that feel the same way, I say come over and meet us, you will find us VERY friendly and certainly NOT ghetto.
monica July 01, 2012 at 01:53 AM
I am offended too! I live just east of Kedzie and my neighborhood is charming and full of hard working people who care about their neighborhood and the people in it. And to the person who said the intellectuals are few and far between hasn't been paying attention to the people moving in to EP and Beverly lately. They are mostly young familes with multiple degrees and good jobs. But they spend all of their money OUTSIDE of EP. We have plenty of stores to appeal to the more moderate incomed families, we now need to add some for the families who currently don't spend any time here. What I heard here were comments like, "I constantly go north to hang out", "I want to see foreign films", "we need nicer restaurants", etc... And of course the Trader Joe's that we all want and need for healthier food choices! These comments all smack of residents with disposable income dying to spend it but they have nowhere to go in EP! But let's reiterate the importance of security and stores that don't become a hangout for troublemakers and hoodlums. So no large movie theater, we'll end up like the Ford City theater. No big boxes that have electronics that teens want to steal. I also think we should have a meeting with Beverly residents. They will say the same things we have but then maybe it will help convince Sexton of the importance of making that corner classy and friendly.
Kat July 03, 2012 at 08:44 PM
I would love a Trader Joe's. I have to travel to Orland or LaGrange once a week to stock up. I know many residents travel to Orland for Traders. They are reasonably priced and they have more healthy and organic options than other stores around here. I think making the development kid-friendly is smart seeing that there are so many children and it is a family oriented community. A children's museum, a Trader Joe's, a cafe like the new Blissful Banana in Orland, a nice department store like Nordstrom, a great Lettuce Entertain You restaurant and I think we could have a fun mix of businesses that would compliment those already around like Jamba Juice and Rainbow Cones.
Gloria Kamper July 10, 2012 at 02:32 PM
You present a great idea then end with a prediction of failure. So, lets dream big and then smash our own dreams with predictions of doom? Should we all just give in to that "riff raff" you speak of? What do you think can be done to prevent the demise of such a thing as a movie theater or drive-in?
Gloria Kamper July 10, 2012 at 02:34 PM
I agree with you, Dawn. I live east of Kedzie and have loved it here for the past 26 years!
Gloria Kamper July 10, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Hi neighbor Monica! I am actually looking forward to having a Menard's in our village. I agree with much of what you say but have to disagree with your view that we can discourage crime by not having stores that sell items attractive to thieves. If that's true, then we'd better close down all the CVS and Walgreen's stores because many people are also stealing things like food, diapers and personal hygiene items. I think we hear of the larger item thefts more often simply because they seem bolder. The "smaller" crimes are what I call "crimes of desperation", and they happen just as frequently as the "big time" stuff.
Gloria Kamper July 10, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Great, Kat! A children's museum would be wonderful! Any place that can attract young families would be encouraging to see. I am all for welcoming grocers who sell organic produce, too. I cannot afford to shop at Jewel and I find Pete's very limited in selection, but it is a good store. I do the bulk of my shopping at bag-your-own stores to save money. My husband and I are of the working class. We use coupons and look for the best deals while not skimping on quality food, and we want to shop local, but it is difficult with what's available here. Having a Farmer's Market is GREAT but that can't be here year-round. Never been to a Nordstrom's and don't think I could afford it but if it would generate revenue for my town, I say go for it!
Gloria Kamper July 10, 2012 at 02:57 PM
I was privileged to be able to attend the June 28 forum at Jacob's Well, and would like to thank everyone who worked to make it happen. While I sat there, listening to others talk, I found myself with nothing to add in the moment, so I appreciate the EP Patch having this up so that we can comment and continue the conversation.
monica July 10, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Gloria...I didn't mean that we should concentrate on stores that don't appeal to thieves. Obviously every store appeals to some thief! I am talking about the stores where more crime is likely to happen. Those are the places that teens and undesirables hang out. And I am more afraid of violent crime than thievery. When i see large groups of young people mulling around, I tend to be frightened. think of the flash mobs all along the lakefront. I want to deter that from happening here. Why is Rainbow cone safe and just across the street Walmart isn't, because of the family nature. Those are the types of stores we need. I agree with kat too, we need some of the higher priced stores to generate revenue. I'd shop at nordstroms, right now my tax dollars on items I buy at Nordstroms goes to the local govt of oakbrook. I really hope this info is shared with those signing the lease for retail stores. We don't need any more cheap stuff.
Gloria Kamper July 11, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Thank you for explaining that, Monica, it does make good sense, put that way! : )
AKA July 13, 2012 at 11:06 AM
I've seen some good suggestions for types of businesses. I'd love to see a Trader Joe's, a movie theater, and some categories of restaurants we don't have nearby - Greek or Lebanese, Ethiopian, etc. Very few people have addressed how people get to those businesses. One of the things that often keeps people from getting to businesses is traffic congestion. If traffic in the area is often snarled, people are less likely to stop there. We already have too much congestion around 95th & Western. The original plans proposed by the developer are totally oriented to car access, with very little though or accommodation given to pedestrian or bike traffic. There are many thousands of potential customers on both sides of Western who are easily within walking and biking distance. Revising the design for safer ped and bike access could bring in more customers for easier, more frequent visits without adding to the car congestion. I live in Beverly, a few blocks east of Western. I shop at Carson's now, and sometimes at other Plaza stores. I and some of my neighbors walk there because it's so close. If the Plaza is redesigned so that there is no longer a sidewalk to let us walk in from Western without getting hit by a car in the parking lot, guess who will no longer be shopping there? More peds and bike traffic means more eyes on the street = less crime.

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