Bruce Provo, president of the entity that owned and operated The Plaza shopping center, told the Southtown Star on Monday Aug. 6 that a deal to acquire the struggling property out of foreclosure and redevelop it has fallen through.
GMX Real Estate Group, in conjunction with the Janko Group, , effectively taking control of the property, which is in foreclosure and under receivership.
Neither GMX nor Provo returned calls made Tuesday, Aug. 7, seeking comment. If what Provo told the Southtown is true, that would seem to put The Plaza back at square one in terms of a turnaround plan.
On its face, that sounds like a significant setback for The Plaza, and for village officials eager to hit the reset button on the most prominent development site in Evergreen Park. The Plaza has been in decline for years, losing customers, stores and prestige and contributing less and less in sales tax money to the village.
I, too, would like to see the Plaza site revitalized. property should be "a destination" for the Southwest Side. Which is why I'm not overly saddened to hear that GMX and the Janko Group may have pulled out.
At the very least, t on the site of The Plaza . Given what's already happening along Western between 91st and 93rd streets, the dangerous potential was there (and still is) to turn Western Avenue into a tragic imitation of LaGrange Road or 159th Street in Orland Park.
Assuming Provo is right and that deal is dead, it gives us all a of the dozen or so residents who turned out for a June 28 community form on redeveloping The Plaza. A summary of the discussion was presented to the village board in July.
In the Southtown story, Provo said he understood the deal fell through because GMX and Janko couldn't find a supermarket to co-anchor a new development along with . It's no wonder, really, given that the golf course development just to the north on Western is going to feature a Meijer and there are Jewel-Oscos at 95th and Ashland, 95th and Pulaski and 103rd and Kedzie, and a at 95th and Lawndale, all within about two miles of the Plaza. I'm not a business wiz, but that seems like an awful lot of grocery stores.
That's part of what I'm talking about in terms of context, and how GMX and Janko didn't really consider context it in their plans. A strip mall is out of context physically for the location. It's out of context economically for the times. And it's out of context historically for what The Plaza has meant to Evergreen Park, and to the region.
We can still get this right. We can still demand a development that we can be proud of, that will give Evergreen Park and Beverly the town center they deserve and need. I don't believe in signs, but if I did, this proposed redevelopment falling through would count as one.