Two redevelopment proposals floated for McChesney site in Glen Ellyn

  • The former McChesney & Miller grocery store closed in 2014 in downtown Glen Ellyn.

    The former McChesney & Miller grocery store closed in 2014 in downtown Glen Ellyn. Daily Herald file photo

Updated 6/20/2019 5:15 PM

The owners of an old grocery store property in downtown Glen Ellyn are floating two different proposals to redevelop the dormant site.

The conceptual plans are highly preliminary, but indicate there's renewed developer interest in a project at the McChesney & Miller parcel at a time when planned redevelopments and updates to the village's comprehensive plan are converging downtown.


Developers at the Springbank Real Estate Group are considering two options, though nothing has been formally submitted to the village. One option calls for construction of a commercial-only building with an undefined mix of office, service and retail space, Village Manager Mark Franz said.

The second also would demolish the grocery store to instead make way for a mixed-use building with residential units on top floors and commercial spaces on the ground level, Franz said. The housing would be luxury apartments or perhaps condos, he said.

Village officials hope to bring both options to the plan commission for an informational meeting, an informal discussion about what could later become a request for financial incentives and zoning approvals.

A so-called pre-application meeting would allow commissioners to provide feedback on which option best aligns with downtown planning goals, Franz said.

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As part of updates to the comprehensive plan -- the current version was adopted in 2001 -- a draft blueprint for the downtown subarea identifies the whole McChesney & Miller block as one of three "catalyst sites," defined in part as "vacant or underutilized parcels that can be consolidated with adjacent properties to facilitate more intense redevelopment that is in line with the community's vision of the downtown as a vibrant, mixed use district."

After more than 150 years in business, McChesney & Miller -- known for its butcher shop and loyal customers from generations of families -- closed in October 2014, leaving the downtown without a grocer.

The store is near an auto service shop, two restaurants, and a village-owned parking lot along Crescent Boulevard, a lower-lying area of the downtown.

The draft subarea plan -- meant as a guide for redevelopment -- suggests the McChesney property and adjacent parcels could accommodate a five-story, mixed-use structure with ground-floor retail fronting Pennsylvania Avenue, condos or apartments on the upper floors and a parking deck.

Three years ago, Springbank approached the village with such an ambitious plan, but it never got off the ground. The development team at the time proposed two buildings with about 200 apartments and retailers on the ground floor and a 120-foot-tall clock tower that would rise above the complex, reshaping the downtown's western gateway as depicted in colorful architectural renderings.


David Trandel, the CEO of Springbank, did not immediately return a phone message Thursday requesting comment about the latest proposals.

Developers likely would request incentives, given that the site lies in a tax increment financing district.

On June 26, the village and consultants will host a public forum at the Civic Center on the recommendations for the three downtown catalyst sites and three others along the Roosevelt Road corridor.

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