Pete's Market holds public meeting for Madison St. plan

Initial site plans unveiled to attendees

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By Stacey Sheridan

Staff Reporter

The community got its first look at the plans for the proposed Madison Street Pete's Market during a Jan. 24 public meeting at Oak Park's main library.

If the application, which will soon be submitted by Pete's to village staff, is approved, the grocery store will be built on the 600 and 700 blocks of Madison Street, between Oak Park and Wesley Avenues, across from a planned senior residential project.

The new grocery store would help "revitalize Madison Street."

Oak Park currently has a Pete's Market, 259 Lake St., the popularity of which inspired the grocery store chain to build a second location in the village.

"We feel we can replicate that success with some lessons learned," said Stephanie Dremonas, daughter of Pete's co-founder Jimmy Dremonas.

Such lessons learned include the importance of having parking more readily available to customers, as well as employees. Finding parking at the Lake Street location is difficult, as spaces are limited.

The plans for the two-story, 49,000 square feet grocery store include 115 underground employee parking spots and 131 surface level parking spots for customers.

"Parking was a main focus of the design," said plan architect Ken Nadolski, of API Architects. Pete's Market doesn't want customers parking in residential streets, burdening nearby residents.

The building's rectangular design is both long and thin, described as "very modern" with "a lot of clean lines and glass," with a front and back mezzanine.

   Construction of the building, as planned, would require the demolition of the historic Foley-Rice automotive building, 644 Madison St., which displeased about half of the small group of attendees at the meeting.

The Foley-Rice site could not physically support underground parking and the mezzanines, but the architect plans to "save what [they] can of the building."

To memorialize the Foley-Rice building, gargoyles on its façade will be repurposed and displayed on the new building, facing Madison Street.

The plans place the grocery store's loading dock and trash receptacles on Wesley Avenue.

Pete's Market also proposes a cul de sac on Euclid Avenue, which would match up with a new cul de sac planned Euclid across Madison Street adjacent to the proposed senior assisted living complex.

A traffic study is in progress but won't be completed in time to include its findings in the project's initial application. Landscape plans are also still in progress.

Pete's Market plans to hold another public meeting at the Oak Park Arms on Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.



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Reader Comments

9 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Jeffrey Smith  

Posted: January 27th, 2020 5:55 PM

"The plans place the grocery store's loading dock and trash receptacles on Wesley Avenue." Otherwise to be known as Rat Hotel.

Jeffrey Smith  

Posted: January 27th, 2020 5:53 PM

The Village needs to REQUIRE them to plant trees on the property, install a green energy roof with solar panels, but solar powered lights in the parking lot, and build something that gets the highest possible green rating. But the Village will not do that because Village government is run by covert Republicans.

Jeffrey Smith  

Posted: January 27th, 2020 5:52 PM

And it's as ugly as it could possibly be without getting arrested.

Jeffrey Smith  

Posted: January 27th, 2020 5:51 PM

Will this turn Euclid into a cul-de-sac at Madison?

Zach Borders from Oak Park  

Posted: January 26th, 2020 2:41 PM

One could argue that FLW and his contemporaries' way of thinking inspired generation(s) of designers (architects/planners) that brought us to this point. The architect's quote is pretty telling: "Parking was a main focus of the design"

Jim Egeberg  

Posted: January 25th, 2020 5:07 AM

The project looks fantastic. I can't wait until it's completed.

Marie T Perkins  

Posted: January 24th, 2020 8:04 PM

How sad that the place that gave us Frank Lloyd Wright would give us this glass monstrosity. It does not fit into Oak Park's historical image. Isn't the Mies van der Rohe and Helmut Jahn way of architecture been done to death? Put this ugliness in downtown Chicago next to the gazillion other glass structures. How about a design worthy of Mr. Wright.

Christopher Goode  

Posted: January 24th, 2020 6:51 PM

What were the planners employed by Oak Park thinking when they pushed this project? What were our Village trustees thinking when they approved it over a year ago? It is sad to think that putting a second story parking deck at the corner of Madison and Oak Park in order to avoid underground parking and so merely saving the east and south facade of the Foley-Rice building instead of destroying it, would be a better option than what we have been given in this presentation. I understand that the two local architecture firms previously engaged by Pete's tried to save more of Foley-Rice. Perhaps that is why they are no longer the architects for this project. Interesting too that the folks living close to the project didn't seem to receive mailed notification about this meeting, a sure way to insure a "small group of attenders", and a limited set of comments. If this project is not significantly reconfigured before it is built I will not be shopping there.

Christopher Goode  

Posted: January 24th, 2020 6:28 PM

This is a pretty sad looking project. If this is the best that can be done I think we might be better off not doing it at all. They can't seem to find any money to save any part of the empty, but far more attractive Foley-Rice building except five or six small sculptural gargoyles that they place too high up on a blank masonry facade that is two thirds of the Madison St. elevation. The design that the architect describes as not a simple box is, in fact, a simple box with some glass on the west facing the parking and a short distance along Madison near the corner entry. The arrangement of parking, entry and turning it's back to the street is nearly the same as at the Jewel store a few blocks farther east. The new parking lot at the corner of Oak Park and Madison will look a lot like the parking lot that we already have at that corner, which, if you are determined to tear down the Foley-Rice building, is where the new building should be located from an urban design point of view. There the building can hold down the corner like the Walgreens does diagonally opposite. And unlike the Walgreens, the building should have an entry at that corner as well as on the parking lot side. This would define the street and make walking along Oak Park Ave. much nicer. Similarly, more needs to be done to open up the Madison St. face along its entire length to improve that walking (and driving) experience as well. For this they have been given land including five feet of the Madison St. right-of-way, which, when in a few years we decide that two lanes in each direction was better after all, would come in handy. And the sidewalks still are too narrow. But this project gives us nothing we want or need. It is all about parking cars, putting 115 in the basement and 131 on the corner. It is a suburban concept in an urban place. As presently conceived it does not belong in Oak Park at that location. It better suits a site in Hoffman Estates than our town. Absolutely underwhelming!

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