Giesche project wins preliminary support from Glen Ellyn

Plans to build a mixed-use development at the Giesche Shoes property in downtown Glen Ellyn have won preliminary support from the village board.

The Opus Group wants to use the Giesche property and the Main Street parking lot to build apartments and commercial space. The developers also want to build a parking structure on the nearby Glenwood Avenue parking lot, the St. Petronille Parish parking lot and the former rectory property.

But the village has not officially approved the project just yet. Village Manager Mark Franz said the proposal still needs to go through a lengthy process.

He said the village's initial support "means that we sit down and pick up where we left off and start drafting a memorandum of understanding on the basic business terms of what a potential sale of the Main Street parking lot could look like," Franz said. "But there's a lot of steps to go."

Earlier this week, the village board discussed the financial feasibility of The Opus Group plans as well as a separate redevelopment project proposed by Next Generation Development.

Next Generation wanted to build a mixed-use development complete with parking, retail space and apartments on some village property and the site of the recently-closed McChesney & Miller grocery store.

Both projects were requesting financial incentives from the village. Trustees said the McChesney project isn't fiscally feasible for the village, but the Opus project is.

"We're excited for this opportunity to collaborate with the village of Glen Ellyn to bring this project to the community," Opus Development Company LLC Vice President and General Manager Sean Spellman said in an email. "We're in the early planning stages of this project and look forward to sharing additional details as we are able."

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