Maywood Board Hears Development Proposal For First And Lake Sites

Tuesday, December 26, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Could a Starbucks possibly be headed to Maywood?

Representatives with a Burr Ridge-based commercial real estate brokerage say that the idea of the global coffee behemoth landing another outpost in the west suburb isn’t all that far-fetched.

During a Dec. 19 regular meeting of the Maywood Board of Trustees, William Paul, the president of Xsite Real Estate, presented a plan to the board that would entail redeveloping three parcels of land on First and Lake.

Paul said that the development prospects could range from retailers and restaurants to apartments — although the type of redevelopment project would depend on the parcel, one of which includes the historically significant Maywood Soldiers’ Widows Home, a local landmark currently owned by the village. Collectively, the three parcels are often referred to as the Soldiers Block.

Paul said that he and his collaborators would renovate the Soldiers Home while maintaining its distinctive Georgian Revival architecture. Echoing the recommendations of other architects and planners, Paul said that the building is most suitable for use as medical or office space.

He noted that an addition that was built onto the back of the original Soldiers Home could possibly be removed to make way for additional parking space.

The village-owned parcel adjacent the Soldiers Home, at the northwest corner of First and Lake, could accommodate a 10,000- to 12,000-square-foot strip mall built in the all-brick, Georgian Revival architectural style of the Soldiers Home to lend aesthetic symmetry to the area.

He said that he and his co-developers would prioritize a mix of prospective tenants that would bring in revenue from both property taxes and sales taxes, such as retailers and restaurants — possibly a Starbucks.

Paul noted that while some businesses not known for generating high sales taxes, such as payday lenders, would be ruled out as possible tenants for the strip mall site; landing a bank as a potential tenant would not be ruled out.

Paul said that it is “hard to say what [redevelopment] direction” the parcel on the northeast corner of First and Lake, behind Burger King, would take. He added that the land could attract another fast food restaurant, but that the development of the northeast corner, in relation to the Soldiers Home and adjacent northwest corner lot, is “down the road.”

“We want to be consistent with what your economic goals are for the property,” Paul told village officials on Dec. 19. “We’re looking to bring in retailers and services that meet the needs of the people in Maywood [and to] create a viable, visually appealing project that will enhance the commercial and cultural fabric of the community.” 

Paul said that if the village board approves of his proposal, his company would start marketing the parcels immediately afterward, starting with the vacant northwest corner lot.

According to a Dec. 19 memo drafted by Angela Smith, Maywood’s business development coordinator, and David Myers, the assistant village manager, returning the village-owned northwest corner parcels of land to the rolls would result in an estimated $125,000 in new property tax revenue and an as yet unknown amount of sales tax revenue.

Paul said that new construction for the area could run about 16 weeks — “from breaking ground to delivering tenants.” Once construction is finished, he said, it typically takes new tenants at least four months to move in before opening for business. He explained that projects could start sometime in 2018.


The Maywood Soldiers’ Widows Home, which could be slated for redevelopment as soon as next year if a developer’s plan finalizes. | Courtesy Mike Rogers 

If the proposal is approved, Paul said that a limited liability ownership entity would be formed that would include him, two other Xsite partners and Charles H. Walsh, Jr., a partner of Walsh Partners, a real estate and development company based in Elmhurst.

The project team for the proposed redevelopment of the Soldiers Block would include contractors, ranging from an architect to a civil engineer and general contractor, that the developers have already identified.

While Paul is the sole owner of Xsite, which he founded in 1998, he is a 50 percent partner of Galena Development LLC, which would be the lead developer on the project team for Soldiers Block.

With Galena, Paul said, he has developed at least eight mall shopping centers across Illinois, most of them anchored by Walmart Supercenters, in places like Dixon, Robinson and Rochelle. The developments range from 7,000 to over 50,000 square feet, Paul said.

The Xsite proposal is just the latest in a string of redevelopment proposals for First and Lake that have been presented before the village board over the years.

In 2013, InSite Real Estate Development offered to purchase the empty lot on the northwest corner of First and Lake for the appraised value, at the time, of $450,000.

InSite’s proposal had entailed turning the site into space that would house Proviso Community Bank and several retail establishments. A representative for InSite said at the that national chains such as Starbucks and Subway had expressed interest in the location.

The proposal, however, never materialized after the village board failed to marshal the five-vote supermajority among trustees that was required to vacate an alley near the land targeted for development. The alley vacation was necessary in order for the project to be completed, Maywood attorney Michael Jurusik said at the time.

More recently, Tom Cronin, the owner of Good Earth Greenhouse in River Forest, which housed a garden center and health-conscious juice bar, approached the village board last November looking to relocate to the northwest corner of First and Lake St.

But board members rebuffed Cronin’s offer, explaining that his asking price for the land wasn’t high enough. It isn’t known how much Cronin offered to pay for the property.

At the Dec. 19 meeting, board members seemed to receive the Xsite proposal more warmly than those previous proposals.

I was thoroughly impressed with the details in the presentation and your willingness to incorporate Maywood’s rich history in it as well,” said Maywood Trustee Isiah Brandon. 

Smith said that if the board considers entertaining the Xsite proposal, village staff would visit different projects that the developer has worked on in the past and vet the company’s references.

She added, though, that “there are many steps until we can get a finalized redevelopment agreement,” which is a document approved by the board that would direct the village attorney and staff to work with the developer to “hash out proposed uses, building design” and other details.

The board is expected to hear a final presentation on the proposal at its next regular meeting on Jan. 2, 2018. VFP

Read the full development proposal below 

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