Pequod's Orders Up Extra Large Expansion Near Metra

The Village Board of Trustees hears a proposal on Monday to demolish existing Pequod's and build a larger one closer to the Metra train station.

, an area institution, announced plans Monday night to build a two-story restaurant five times its current size near the Morton Grove train station inside a city tax increment financing, or TIF district.

The Village of Morton Grove will also buy and demolish the current Pequod's properties at 8520 and 8522 Fernald, under a proposal given its first reading at a board of trustees meeting.

"People have been asking us for more sit-down restaurants and that is what we got," Mayor Dan Staackmann said. "We're very excited about it."

Pequod's owner Keith Jackson plans to build a 6,000 to 7,500 square foot building with 5,000 square feet used for a new, two-level pizzeria and the remaining area divided into two other retail businesses, spokesman Richard Winer said.

A doughnut shop/bakery and a dry cleaner's have made initial inquiries about the other shops, Winer said, but all proposals will be considered. Preliminary architectural drawings call for one of the other shops to face Chestnut Street and the other Lehigh Avenue.

The new Pequod's is expected to open before the existing one closes and is purchased by the city, according to the agreement.

Winer said the new restaurant should open in June of 2012, according to the current timeline.

Under terms of the deal announced by the city, Jackson will pay $346,000 for the city-owned undeveloped property at 6401 Chestnut Street. The Village will pay $455,000 for Pequod's Restaurant and an adjacent property, with plans to raze the pizzeria, create additional parking, and realign an awkward alleyway across from a fire station.

Trustee Dan DiMaria said the new building will be a "focal point," for the 1,000 commuters who use the train station daily. Instead of just getting in their cars and driving away, he said, they can now stop for dinner and drinks.

The expectation is that having a well-known institution like Pequod's will encourage further restaurant and retail development, making Morton Grove's train station more like Glenview, Des Plaines and Edison Park, DiMaria said.

"This is what we've been trying to do for years now," he said.

In 2000, the village created a TIF district at the intersection of Lehigh Avenue and Ferris Avenue, which aimed to create a transit-oriented neighborhood surrounding the Metra train station there. With bonds issued by the city, improvements were made to what was then a blighted neighborhood. The Pequod's development is the first real fruit from that effort.

Also at Monday night's board meeting, trustees approved $87,381 total for the purchase of four new police pursuit vehicles. The existing Crown Victorias, described as high-mileage vehicles more than three years old, will be merged with the city fleet.

Trustees also approved several new "no parking" and "limited time parking" zones on the following streets: Chestnut Street, Major Avenue, School Street, Austin Avenue and Dempster Street.

Second reading and a vote on the Pequod's deal is scheduled for the March 14 trustee meeting.

lisa March 09, 2011 at 10:00 PM
I think Trader Joe's would be a wonderful store. However, I thought Produce world was moving into the Old Navy strip mall. I think that would harm both businesses. How about putting it in the nearly empty strip mall by the tracks on Dempster. It would be convenient for the town house residents and the folks driving home from the train station.
Jennifer Alvarado March 11, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Lisa, you are correct, I wasn't thinking. Trader Joes would be a fine addition to our town. Both Park Ridge and Glenview locations are always hopping. I just hope we can fill up some of the vacancies in Dempster and brighten up our town. Bring the life back into it!
Jennifer Alvarado March 11, 2011 at 08:42 PM
(oops, I meant ON Dempster)
s dolan May 24, 2011 at 06:02 PM
I wish Morton Grove would spend more dollars on beautification projects...More flowers,better town Xmas decor,not light up candy cane signs on light poles,how about nice fresh pine garland,like Skokie and Glenview uses? Nice large pots of flowers on street corners? Make it look classy not cheap... Nice lamp posts,benches,garden scapes and so on. Our town could look more inviting and classy,not drab and lifeless...After all we pay high taxes here-
David Lewis May 24, 2011 at 06:17 PM
I assume you are referring to Dempster Street? If so, when was the last time you traveled on Dempster? The new street lamps have been installed and most of the new sidewalks are finished. Next will be the repaving of the entire street from Ferris to Central. Finally, new benches and tree planters will be installed. All of this work is scheduled to be completed in July of this year. It would be helpful if residents would read the newsletter that is delivered by U.S. Mail to their homes, attend Village Hall meetings or watch the meetings on TV, view the Village's web site, or attend public meetings such as the meeting that was held at the Civic Center last week. All contain updates or discussions on the progress of Dempster Street.


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