Flossmoor seeking proposals for commercial development

Flossmoor officials have extended the deadline to submit commercial development proposals for vacant property in the village’s southwest corner.
The village is looking to develop just under 29 acres (17 parcels) of the 36 acres it owns in the former tax increment financing district (TIF) near Meijer. The site is located on the north side of Vollmer Road between Crawford and Central Park avenues.
request for qualifications (RFQ) form is active on the village’s website for developers to submit proposals. These were previously due by Aug. 2, but the village has extended the deadline to solicit more interest.
Village Manager Bridget Wachtel said a new deadline has not yet been established, as village staff are working on putting additional advertising out to spread the word about the opportunity.
She said one developer attended the village’s pre-submission meeting with an idea, but nothing has been formally submitted.
Wachtel said more than one business could realistically fill the space, but proposals to use the entire space for a sole enterprise could also work.
“If there’s a firm out there that feels they can be successful, then we’ll get the highest and best use of the land that we have,” she said.
As far as what would be ideal for the space, Wachtel said the community could use more sit-down restaurants, but any commercial use that benefits Flossmoor will be considered.
“In the restaurant business, fast casual dining is a lot of what we’re seeing open and develop, but to have additional sit-down restaurants, higher-end restaurants, that would be very desirable,” she said. “Additional commercial uses that really add to the quality of life and amenities for our residents and for the region would be good too.”
The village made a significant investment in infrastructure and property in the area before TIF funds expired in 2015, Wachtel said. 
Several improvements were made such as upgraded water pressure, an added water main, sewer main and storm sewer, and widened roadways. 
When Meijer showed interest in the area, the land was in foreclosure and the bank that owned it refused to divide it for sale. 
Flossmoor then bought all of the land from the bank, and Meijer bought the 38 acres it needed from the village. Flossmoor is the second largest landowner in the area with 36 acres.
“All of that land acquisition can be cumbersome for a developer to deal with,” she said. "It’s helpful for anyone that’s looking to come in and at this point would only have to deal with the village.”
Only four private landowners remain in the area that a developer would have to approach if they wanted to develop the entire site. 
The site has the advantage of being in a high-activity corner with proximity to Meijer and nearby restaurants and gas stations.
The village has been using the consulting services of Houseal Lavigne Associates of Chicago to assist in preparing materials for developers, and the company will continue to assist in the interview process, Wachtel said.
The next step after receiving applications will be to review qualifications and proposals, interview developers and bring a suggestion back to the village board for consideration.

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