ABC Automotive and Electronics will return to Forest Park in March after leaving the village nearly 15 years ago.

John Faust and his brother, and partner, Jim, will leave their iconic glass-paneled shop at Harlem and Cermak, in Berwyn, once the interior remodeling of their new Forest Park store, 7213 Roosevelt Rd., is finished.

Although the Forest Park location is just a branch of their four-store Chicagoland operation – ABC also has shops in Chicago, Harwood Heights and Elk Grove Village – the move is something of a homecoming.

“We’re no strangers to Forest Park,” John Faust said. In the mid 1990s, the brothers’ father, James, then the owner of ABC – which, at the time, almost exclusively specialized in car alarms – sold their Forest Park store to Walgreen’s Pharmacy. Coincidentally, ABC was also on the 7200 block of Roosevelt back then, right by Bishop’s Famous Chili.

John and Jim eventually purchased the company from their father, and expanded their product inventory.

Inside the Berwyn store customers browse the wheel rims, digital GPS devices, sub-woofers and other knickknacks that are crammed inside the closet-sized shop.

Space is an issue, and the 6,000 square feet that the Forest Park store offers was a galvanizing force in the move. About half of that space will be used as a showroom.

John said he wants to be able to display more of the items that the company sells, among them: navigation devices, custom sound systems, security remotes, to name a few.

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“Before you kind of had to talk and find out what the customer wants,” John said. “Now you’re creating some interest in the product because people will come
in and say, ‘Oh, I didn’t know they had that.'”

Although Faust is looking forward to the move and the new space, the Berwyn store is the company’s flagship location.

“My father built this building,” said John, speaking to the Forest Park Review
in the garage of the Berwyn store. “Now it’s going to be torn down.”

The company’s move from this store was not entirely voluntary, at least not initially.

In the last few years the City of Berwyn has taken steps to buy property near the Harlem and Cermak intersection for future development.

At first, ABC resisted the city’s offer, but last year it accepted a $1.6 million buyout.

Tony Griffin, executive director of the Berwyn Development Corp., said that ABC and several other buildings at the intersection were “incongruent” to the city’s future land plans.

“There are no hard feelings,” John said. “They want to have a nice town.”

Alas, John Faust is focused on the future and ABC’s new home in Forest Park.

“It’s a good location,” he said, in reference to the block and the town.