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Borders Closing Spurred Plan for Deerbrook Area

When the former Borders and George’s What’s Cooking became medical office buildings, Mayor Rosenthal set Lake Cook Road Corridor action plan in motion.

When the former Borders and George’s What’s Cooking became destined to be medical office buildings, Deerfield Mayor Harriet Rosenthal wanted to do something to preserve the retail character of the Village’s Lake Cook Corridor.

The situation was compounded when two large stores at Deerbrook Mall—Best Buy and Wonder!—closed as well. Rosenthal wanted action and asked the Plan Commission to develop a remedy.

Earlier: Village Moves To Strengthen Deerbrook Area

The solution developed by the Plan Commission, if it ultimately becomes an ordinance, will ease the way for retailers to open in south Deerfield and will implement some requirements to mandate retail use like the Village has had downtown for more than 20 years.

When Deerfield decided to limit first floor space in the downtown area to primarily retail uses, Rosenthal, then a Trustee, was a major force behind it. She has made it a mission to do the same for the areas around Lake Cook and Waukegan Roads.

“Around 20 years ago I proposed an idea to have first floor retail space in our downtown,” Rosenthal said. “We put in an ordinance that anything that is not retail (on the first floor) needs a special use.” A special use permit can be given to a business after it makes its case to the Village.

If the unanimous recommendation of the Plan Commission made to the Village Board of Trustees Monday becomes an ordinance, businesses who want to locate at Deerbrook, Cadwell Corners, Deer Park Plaza and other locations in the Lake Cook Corridor will have an easier time.

The proposals will increase the size of a store still needing a special use permit, require a certain amount of retail use and exclude existing locations which do not lend themselves to stores or restaurants, according to the Plan Commission suggestions.

“It will put in place mechanisms for large size retail to come in,” Plan Commissioner Rob Nadler said Tuesday. He helped make the presentation Monday. It will make it easier for a store to open quickly. “It is still flexible for non retailers.”

Now, anyone who wants to open a business containing more than 10,000 square feet needs a special use permit. That number will climb to 30,000 square feet under the new proposal. “A store like T.J. Maxx can go right in because it is less than 30,000 square feet,” Nadler said.

One proposal for Deerbrook Mall renovation calls for T.J. Maxx to move from its current interior location to an outside entrance. Should that go through, the retailer will not need any special permission to move.

Nadler thinks these changes will breed a good retail climate. He is the regional president of Kimco, a real estate investment trust which is the largest owner of community and neighborhood shopping centers in North America. “Most retailers feel it is important to be in a center with other retailers,” he said.

Current businesses like the Brunswick Zone, National Tire and Battery, Joy of the Game and the Sachs Recreation Center will be excluded from the proposed requirements. “Those locations are not conducive to retail,” Village Manager Kent Street said at Monday’s meeting.

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Mara Meyer December 19, 2012 at 07:38 PM
How about an independent running against Rosenthal? Write candidates can win! Same is true of the trustees! paperwork may still be filed - so anyone who wants to correct this Village Board please do!
Rich M January 01, 2013 at 05:01 PM
Deerfield, the town that said no to a Portillo's. Absolutely clueless leadership. You want GUARANTEED tax money and traffic? Put a Portillo's/Barnelli's at Deerbrook and a even a Chick-Fil-A (if you personally can get past the anti-gay thing). You won't even need any anchor stores because you'll have tons of cars in the parking lot. But you can still add stores of course. Mariano's is a great idea too, though I heard they want to put one at Dundee and Skokie Blvd. I would love one at Deerbrook. If anyone is unsure of these tenant ideas, go to Vernon Hills and check out Mariano's and Portillo's. Open and shut case. My idea wins. Go get them!
Richard H Heineman Jr January 01, 2013 at 05:21 PM
I believe that Mariano's is being built at Waukegan and Half Day Road on the northeast corner. Dundee and Skokie is the Wal-mart proposal.
RB January 01, 2013 at 10:30 PM
Again, I think the Jewel can stop anything like a Target, Mariano's or WalMart from coming to Deerbrook. Portillo's or another high volume restaurant would be great. Enough with banks. As Villages all around Deerfield get it together after the recession, we are still digging the hole deeper. A new board would be helpful. Thanks for your service, but the current board is behind the times and slow to react much less be proactive about anything. All you hear about is busy work and unnecessary regulation. No creativity. It's a new year...how about a new attitude!
RB January 30, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Has any progress been made at Deerbrook? We've seen CVS open at 41 and Park Ave and Walmart working hard to open in Northbrook. Shopping Centers are again finding investors. What's new with Deerbrook? Now, we've lost Bally's. Can anyone get that WONDER sign taken down and those papered over windows dressed up a little? How about the board making property owners remove old signage?

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