The corner lot at Harlem Avenue and Madison Street in Forest Park has been vacant since the Shell gas station that occupied the property closed eight years ago.
But within the next few months, the high-traffic intersection will get new tenants with the construction of a strip mall with three commercial spaces. Starbucks Coffee will be the first tenant.
David King, head of the brokerage firm representing Chicago-based developer Midwest Property Group Ltd., said the development team is completing a site plan for the project at 7209 W. Madison St. and expects to present the proposal to the village of Forest Park by the end of March.
Midwest Property Group hopes to break ground on the project in May, King said.
In addition to the brick structure, which is expected to include about 20 parking spaces, the proposal includes installation of a sign on the corner welcoming residents and visitors to Forest Park.
“That’s the entrance to our town, so this is huge,” King said in a telephone interview.
He noted that the gas station and fuel storage tanks below the ground have been removed from the 20,402-square-foot lot, King said.
Jaime “Jay” Javors, head of development services for Midwest Property Group, is identified in public records as the registered agent of Forest Park Holdings LLC, which purchased the parcel of land in December 2012 for $1.15 million.
The property is listed on Midwest’s website as a “rare new construction” opportunity that could be completed by early 2015. Midwest notes that the site plan is conceptual and subject to change.
The Starbucks coffee shop, currently located at the corner of Madison Street and Elgin Avenue, will relocate to the storefront at the southern end of the strip mall.
That storefront is identified on Midwest Property’s website as a 1,855-square-foot space. The adjacent shop is listed at 2,000 square feet and the third tenant space is listed as 1,625 square feet.
The site plan notes that 37,700 vehicles pass by the empty parcel every day on Harlem Avenue and 18,800 vehicles pass by daily on Madison Street.
King said securing Starbucks as an anchor tenant has “been of great interest” to other prospective businesses looking to move into the building.
He said the development group has not fleshed out the details for the proposed decorative sign welcoming residents and visitors to Forest Park.
Midwest Property also built the Walgreens at the corner of Oak Park Avenue and Madison Street in Oak Park, maintaining the façade of the historic building as part of the project.