At the Sept. 12 meeting, four members of the Forest Park Village Council unanimously approved an ordinance that will allow Dollar Tree to open a store at 7709 Roosevelt Road, the intersection of Roosevelt Road and Troost Avenue. Commissioner Dan Novak was absent.

Village Administrator Tim Gillian explained that the location is currently vacant and formerly housed a similar discount retail variety store. He added that the company is improving the site “considerably.”

Improvements to the 14,000-square-foot building on the 27,000-square-foot lot include a new roof, exterior facade enhancements, fencing and signage. The 30-space parking lot will be resurfaced and restriped. An existing pole sign will be removed and replaced with a monument sign. Landscaping also will be improved. A spokesperson for Dollar Tree said the company is aiming for a January 2017 opening. She also said plans call for installation of coolers and freezers, which indicates frozen and refrigerated products will be sold.

The village Plan Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the plan at its Aug. 1 meeting. The agreement is with 7709 W. Roosevelt LLC, which is identified as a developer for Dollar Tree. The developer will continue to own the property and lease it to Dollar Tree. A spokesperson for Dollar Tree anticipates 12-20 employees ranging from part-time to full-time and a spokesman for the developer said Dollar Tree typically hires from the immediate or surrounding area.

After the Sept. 12 meeting, Mayor Anthony Calderone hinted that the opening of Dollar Tree is just the first of a string of commercial and retail developments to come to Roosevelt Road.

“There’s going to be great things happening on Roosevelt Road,” he said. “There’s absolutely interest on the part of the village and on the part of the users.”

Roosevelt Road was one of the target areas listed for Business Districts Inc. when the firm was hired by the village in May to spearhead Forest Park’s economic development efforts, although Gillian said the Dollar Tree interest predates that agreement. Gillian said the village provided no incentives to Dollar Tree.

Under the first phase of the agreement approved in May, BDI will specifically address development of the vacant car dealership at Roosevelt and Desplaines Avenue and the Forest Park Plaza outlots and former K-Mart on Roosevelt east of Desplaines, using its developer contacts and market knowledge to research specific tenants and development possibilities.  

Roosevelt Road also is scheduled to undergo a facelift in 2017, paid for in part by a $2.3 million grant the village received from the Illinois Department of Transportation.   The project will include streetscape and beautification improvements to Roosevelt from Harlem to Desplaines avenues.

Dollar Tree Inc. is an American chain of discount variety stores that sells items for $1 or less. A Fortune 500 company, Dollar Tree is headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia, and operates 13,600 stores throughout the 48 contiguous U.S. states and Canada. 

Departments found in a Dollar Tree store include health and beauty, food and snacks, party, seasonal décor, housewares, glassware, dinnerware, household cleaning supplies, candy, toys, gifts, gift bags and wrap, stationery, craft supplies, teaching supplies, automotive, electronics, pet supplies and books. 

Dollar Tree operates two stores in Oak Park, 6405 W. North Avenue and 922 Madison Street.

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