Sporting goods store could join The Shoppes at Fox River

Submitted photo
The yellow buildings show where the future tenants will be.
Published on: 7/8/2014

Community members and aldermen are anxious to find out what the future tenants of The Shoppes at Fox River will be.

But the developer who was in attendance at last week's common council meeting wouldn't budge.

"That's a tough one because most of the retailers we're working with will not allow us to disclose their name or even put their name on a site plan until a lease is signed," said Edward Wizner, the vice president of development/redevelopment for Ramco Gershenson Properties Trust. "It's difficult because we don't even own the land yet.

"So it's a little bit of a Catch 22, but we have begun those discussions in earnest."

However, Wizner did drop some hints about some of the interested parties for the growing shopping center on the west side of Sunset Drive.

Wizner said a "large sporting goods store," could come to the shopping center and a well known national restaurant as well as other quick service operations, including clothing and shoe stores.

"Lots of different kinds of small shop opportunities like spa facilities," Wizner added. "Just a myriad of things. It's a lot of new types of retail that don't exist in the center today with a lot of well known names as well as names that I think the community will get excited about and things that are not offered here and now."

Alderman Adam Jankowski, who asked Wizner about the potential retailers, said there's a buzz around the latest potential expansion.

"There is a definite excitement to this," Jankowski said. "Overall, the development of this is a very good asset. Like I said, for the last three years I've been looking at this land and I'd like to see more buildings there and people coming to (the shopping center)."

Jankowski referenced the growth of the shopping center in recent years.

After a 60,000-square-foot Pick 'n Save and 132,000-square-foot Target and other smaller stores opened in 2010, a TJ Maxx and other stores were part of a second phase of development at the site in 2012. A 55,000-square-foot Hobby Lobby also opened earlier this year at the center.

"There's a lot of fun for the entire family and it's going to be a great one-stop shop for people in the community to go to, to help the economy and just generate more traffic to the area," Jankowski said. "This is a great idea; this is a great development."

The development, which includes six new buildings, moved forward at the last council meeting after the council approved multiple items relating to the project.

This included the preliminary site plan and architectural review. The council also approved a change in the land use plan for 9.86 acres from industrial to commercial and rezoned the site from Limited Business and Industrial Park to a Community Business Planned Unit Development.

There was concern, however, from some aldermen, especially Kathleen Cummings on the loss of manufacturing land in the city.

But City Planner Jennifer Andrews said the assessed value of the property will skyrocket once the site brings in more tenants.