Residents Gear Up for Plaza Open Forum

Your neighbors have already started buzzing about our second forum exclusively on the redevelopment of The Plaza Shopping Center. See what a few of them had to say this week on Patch.

Although our forum on is two weeks away, the conversation has already started right here on Patch.

Our Evergreen Parker and host of has made his position clear on the redevelopment of The Plaza many times. "I hope to use my time at the forum to make the case for a town center and show some examples of other dead regional malls that have been successfully redeveloped as town centers," he says, "or at least developed following a mixed-use concept,"

But your neighbors have had much to say about this, too. Read what two of them posted on Patch, then meet us at The Well, , 3450 W. Maple St. at 7 p.m. on June 28. If you can't make it in-person, join online and We'll field your questions to the crowd.


While I applaud Mr. Clair in anticipating what failure of Plaza development might look like some years into the future, I believe he is short sighted in not considering how a mixed use development might fail. If the housing units fail to attract renters or buyers (a very real possibility in the current real estate market), what happens to them? Do they remain empty and subject to vandalism, vagrancy or potentially become Section 8 housing or some other form of low income housing project? If the housing units fall to attract the desired residents how does that impact the site's retail establishments? I think it should also be acknowledged that any retailer who chooses to do business on the Plaza site needs to be able to successfully absorb losses from shoplifting and theft - an economic factor that may preclude local businesses from choosing the location.


You are on track Chris! I believe that the comprehensive presentation of a well thought out blueprint for a regionally contextual retail development plan with executable steps and goals, in an effort to work towards the Village of Evergreen Park becoming the "capital of the Southwest Side", will be extremely beneficial for residents and businesses. I will be out of the state for the meeting but please include as many environmentally friendly LEED initiatives as you can, along with walkable/bikable routes for the surrounding areas.
Safety is a huge concern for our area so I think that there is a need for plans to address personal safety (police emergency boxes, cameras, security guards etc.), traffic (countdown lights for pedestrians and bikes) and Village safety (limited number of liquor/gambling licenses/sales, no weapons/ammunition, and no 24 hour businesses). We cannot sacrifice our safety for $$$.

Do you agree? Disagree? Leave your answer in the comments to continue the conversation and Like' us on Facebook for more.

Read the latest news on The Plaza Shopping Center.

Kjklinger June 14, 2012 at 05:42 PM
What has been planned could have been designed by a grade schooler. A strip of big buildings. Done. I understand that corner may not be a desirable place to live, but there can still be mixed uses and a shape and layout that promotes community activities and street life. Look at Randhurst Mall (in NW burbs). The old mall was inn worse shape that the Plaza. They too had a Carson's that stayed. They now have a 'street' focused mall with hotels, etc. Take a look at the links below: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110823/business/708239972/ http://www.randhurstmall.com/ Also I was just up in Wisconsin and Bayshore Mall outside of Milwaukee did another very similar redevelopment of a dead enclosed mall. These types of developments are happening EVERYWHERE. We do not need to reinvent the wheel. It is the future of retail development. This strip of ugly boxes will be outdated before it's even completed. And no doubt will be half vacant and a blight within 5-10 years. I hope the powers that be in EP have the ability to see where this development needs to go if they want to sustain themselves as a pleasant place to live.
Southside Supporter June 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM
With the Meijer/Menard’s development, the Plaza, the Webb Ford and the future Little Company of Mary huge expansion that’s being planned to be east of California Avenue at 93rd Place, next to “The Park”, we have to set the standard now for quality development for the future of the Village. It’s up to the Village to promote an environment that emphasizes long term planning and investment, but ultimately the investment should begin with each of us by letting our representatives know what we want the future of Evergreen Park to look and feel like.
Southside Supporter June 14, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Whether or not GMX Real Estate Group is the developer of the Plaza, we need to exhibit self confidence and relay a positive image of self worth so that businesses can see more than just a lower tiered future in the Village of Evergreen Park. We don’t want plastic bags, aka: Urban Tumbleweeds, littering the sidewalks while huge obnoxious internally lit signs of lower tiered stores and restaurants line the roads. In addition to sending the Mayor and the planning committee our ideas and visions, we should also send a copy to our representatives to let Senator Ed Maloney, State Representative Kelly Burke and State Representative William Cunningham know that we want responsible regional development. We also need to find out what incentives and tax breaks and deals are being planned for all these developments. We find ourselves at a defining moment for the future of the Village; don't put all the power in the hands of the developers, the people who live here are most important.
lilian darcey June 14, 2012 at 11:14 PM
lilian darcey June 14, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Oops, please ignore last comments In order for this development to be sucessful. EPers must embrace diversity and it must be upscale. Any development in this area will atract residents from the diverse Beverly area. People must look at the individual beahvior of a person and not their skin color. The bussinesses must be places that the urban riff raff doesn't shop. We should say absoLUTELY NOOOOOOOOOO dollar stores, family dollars, currency exchanges, fast food, hip hop wear, gym shoe stores, etc. We need some boutiques and fine dining places. This development should be interesting and diverse. Also it should be mixed used. Every suburb that is revitalising itself is turning away from strip malls. The developers favor strip malls because they are cheaper to build and maintain. Mixed use makes the area more localised and there is limited parking. Less parking and very limited parking discourages the riff raff from the undesirable areas outside of Beverly/ EP from becoming patrons. Also we should lobby CTA to run less frequently and shut down at an earlier time, keeping the undesirables out as much as possible. They can have shuttles for employees of the mall. I believe the CTA will agree to this as it will save them money.
epsouthwest June 15, 2012 at 05:49 AM
monica June 17, 2012 at 03:07 AM
I agree! I'd like to see that corner have stores that I (as well as other residents) want to shop. We need upscale stores for the upscale people of our neighborhood. We need Trader Joe's, a pet store, DSW, Loft, etc... Places where thugs won't want to hang out. Family restaurants and upscale dining as well..no fast food. And please..no more mattress stores!
thomaszbrokaw June 18, 2012 at 06:24 AM
Coupons may keep you in the store longer. It's a well known fact that the more time you spend in a store, the more money you're likely to spend in that store but if you are focused and follow instructions on "Printaponss" you will save money


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