New development finally on the way for Buffalo Grove intersection

Buffalo Grove is beginning to see some long-awaited plans for development at the corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Deerfield Parkway.

A proposal for the Berenesa Plaza property, which has lain dormant for about a quarter-century, came before the village board last year, and on Monday the board got its first look at a proposed retail development for the nearby parcels at 20914 and 20929 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Deerfield-based MJK Real Estate Holding Company plans to buy the 1.5-acre property, the former site of a recently demolished McDonald's, and construct a new, two-building development with 12,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

MJK President Jeffrey Silverman said the company hopes to work with Buffalo Grove to annex the site into the village and produce a successful project.

"Our vision is our vision, and the (village's) vision is the (village's) vision," Silverman said. "When the two cross correctly, you have a positive project."

The project's architect, Orlando Vivacqua, said the north building likely would contain a quick-service restaurant, with the balance devoted to general retail. The larger building to the south would include a drive-through connected with a new quick-service restaurant, he said.

Access to the site would be provided by a full access curb-cut onto Milwaukee Avenue. As part of the annexation agreement, the developer also is seeking rights to a future cross-access connection when the Berenesa Plaza property redevelops.

Trustee Jeffrey Berman had questions for the developer about rumored tenants.

"To be more specific, we heard a rumor of a national wings place ... that was at least interested in that corridor," he said.

Silverman said he does not think that would fit on the parcel because of parking requirements. With two quick-service restaurants, the other tenants would have to be less intensive users, he added.

Berman emphasized his concern for developing the corridor in the best possible way.

"Milwaukee (Avenue) frontage is a precious resource," he said. "This parcel presents its own unique challenges, because it is smaller and it doesn't have a tremendous amount of depth."

Buffalo Grove Community Development Director Christopher Stilling indicated officials are optimistic about the proposal.

"I believe that this will be a big catalyst for the Berenesa Plaza property," he said. "The tenants they are talking to are very high quality tenants."

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