Plan Commission hears first steps in renovations to Deerbrook Shopping Center
Updated: March 7, 2013 5:49PM
DEERFIELD — Deerfield’s plan commission was enthusiastic about Mid-America Asset Management’s first step toward redeveloping the Deerbrook Shopping Center.
But the commission’s members still wanted the master plan for the entire 47-and-a-half-acre planned unit development site they had requested in July.
MAAM submitted on Thursday (Feb. 28) plans to renovate the shopping center’s northeast corner by relocating Starbucks to the outlet building next to the Chase Bank at the northwest corner of Lake Cook and Waukegan Roads.
A new addition with a drive-through window is to be installed on the east side of the building and an outdoor seating area at the northwest corner of the building.
And the Subway Restaurant also will be relocated to a new, 3,400-square-foot building to be constructed on the site of the empty Devon Bank building, which will be torn down. An outdoor seating area also is proposed on the north side of the restaurant.
The commission was supportive of the project, although expressing concerns about safety because of the parking area’s configuration.
The commission asked MAAM to take a second look at the plan in light of the members’ concerns and return with an improved plan March 14.
However, the commission still wanted to see the overall plan to revitalize the mall that some believe has become dysfunctional and obsolete, because of its many empty stores.
“We felt we heard the message very clearly, but we’re not in the position to do that. We feel we do have a good plan and when we are ready to put it together, we will present it,” said C. Michelle Panovich, principal and senior vice president of Mid America.
“We need answers from Supervalu about moving the Jewel store. We didn’t want to come to you with yet another plan we couldn’t pull the trigger on. That’s why we’re taking this first step – to allow the rest of the redevelopment to be put together.”
Jewel-Osco stores is to be sold to a consortium of investors led by Cerberus Capital Management, Jewel’s parent, Supervalu, announced in January.
But the sale will not be complete until sometime in March, which is the earliest anyone will be able to get answers, Panovich said.
In 2001, the shopping center received approval for major renovations to the property, including the parking lot, landscaping, signs, lighting, exterior facade, and to the south end for the former Great Indoors store, said Jeff Ryckaert, the principal village planner.
In 2005, the owner won approval for major renovations to the middle part of the shopping center, including removal of the roof over the interior portion of the mall to convert it to an open air mall, new tenant and directional signs, getting rid of the vacant theater space, and adding parking space in the rear.
But the only part of the 2005 plans that were completed was the vehicle connection between the Deerbrook shopping center and the Deerfield Park Plaza (formerly the Lake Cook Plaza.)
In 2010, changes were made to the exterior of the Wonder store, which is now empty.
“It’s a wonderful first step to better the mall over all,” said Dan Shapiro, the chairman of the commission. “Making Starbucks and Subway more visible will bring people into the mall who otherwise might not have stopped.”