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updated: 3/24/2014 5:23 PM

Rosemont building demolitions could clear way for new retailers

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  • Rosemont is preparing to demolish four buildings in a former light industrial area south of Balmoral Avenue, with an eye toward retail development.

      Rosemont is preparing to demolish four buildings in a former light industrial area south of Balmoral Avenue, with an eye toward retail development.
    Christopher Placek/Daily Herald

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Rosemont is planning to demolish the four remaining buildings in its portion of a former light industrial area near the village's Metra station, with the prospect of redeveloping the area for retail use.

In total, the village has purchased and razed about a dozen buildings over the course of the last five years south of Balmoral Avenue on both sides of Pearl Street. The area is tucked in between the Metra station on the west and the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) on the east, and sits across the tollway from the Fashion Outlets of Chicago mall, which opened last August.

Village officials have had discussions with those who may be interested in locating retail businesses there, though no official plans have been announced. Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens pitched the land to the Chicago Cubs in March 2013 in an attempt to lure the team to Rosemont while it was negotiating with the city of Chicago over renovations to Wrigley Field.

There's a total of about 25 acres of vacant land Rosemont is looking to develop: 10 acres north of Balmoral, and 15 acres south of Balmoral.

Whether both parcels would be used as part of one large development depends on the particular plan, Stephens said.

The northern parcel, located across the tollway from the MB Financial Park at Rosemont entertainment district, could be suited for any number of uses, Stephens said, including entertainment, retail, or office.

Earlier this month, the village board approved a $212,725 contract with Omega Demolition Corporation to raze the four remaining buildings, located at 5233 Pearl St., 5290 Pearl St., 9770 Farragut Ave. and 9800-9872 Farragut Ave. Many of those buildings were sold to the village by AMB Property Corporation, which owns another 14 buildings on two blocks south of Farragut Avenue, located within the city limits of Schiller Park and Chicago.

Stephens said he's talked with Schiller Park Mayor Barbara Piltaver and Chicago 41st Ward Alderman Mary O'Connor, who both indicated they'd be open to the expansion of retail south of Farragut Avenue.

Rosemont's real estate broker could later contact them after the village's site is developed, Stephens said.

Fencing surrounds the four buildings now, but demolition won't begin until environmental remediation is complete. All businesses who formerly leased space in the buildings have moved out. After the building demolitions, crews will put gravel on the vacant land.

Then, it'll be "waiting for a shovel," Stephens said.

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