UPDATE: New Plans for Old Loves Park Building

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UPDATE: LOVES PARK (WIFR) -- New jobs could be coming to the Stateline.

A waste of space, as it's being called by some in Loves Park, may soon be rejuvenated if approved by the city. The old Sears building, near East Riverside Rd. and Forest Hills Rd., could have big business moving in once again before this time next year. First Midwest Group confirmed with 23 News it has several nationally known companies already committed to moving into new buildings 23 News was given a first look at. First Midwest Group also says it expects a big name retail store to share office space with an auto shop and small businesses inside the current facility.

"Provide an opportunity and a place for people to go shopping, people to go dine, and see that site become something that can be used by the people again," said Marvin Keys, corporate counsel for First Midwest.

According to Keys, the plans are in the earliest stages they possibly can be. Earlier, the Loves Park zoning board approved a special use permit for the site.

LOVES PARK (WIFR) – Old and unused buildings have become a bit of a problem in the Stateline and it’s leaving towns scrambling for ways to reuse them. Now, Loves Park is looking into different ways to revitalize one area.

Some buildings along Riverside Boulevard have become shells of failed stores in Loves Park.

Now, public works crews are trying to transform the former CVS, lumberyard, and Sears structures into thriving businesses once again.

“We’ve had a lot of vacant properties, the old Sears Essentials, this area where this old lumberyard was and it’s been vacant for 20 years. We just looked at this area as a need for something, some kind of economic development boost.”

The department wants to redevelop the area in between Forest Hills, Windsor and Material Avenue with help from new developers. The plan asks the city to repurpose property tax dollars for future businesses, giving them an incentive to move in, but Bruck says everything hinges on getting someone interested.

“This would be an economic incentive for potential developers and property owners to put value back into their properties and then raise their property values and then hopefully do that for the surrounding area.”

Bruck says that the property values inside the proposed area are worse than any other part of town and it’s time that they did something about it.
Loves Park is holding a public hearing on the proposed blueprint tonight and if the plan is approved the city will market the area to potential developers to come and build.

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