A few weeks ago, the Village solicited feedback to find out from residents what kind of retail they would like to see go into the soon-to-be-vacant Borders space. Well, the people have spoken, and they want a "general merchandise" store such as an urban Target.
I actually voted for a home goods store like Crate and Barrel or Williams-Sonoma. If you ask me, I don't think we have enough parking to support a Target (I'm sure it would attract way more shoppers than the Borders) and it would probably create a traffic nightmare. Plus, we have two Targets (although not the best ones I've been to) within 10 minutes of Oak Park. I'm just not seeing the need for another one, but if we do get one, I'm sure I would shop there as long as it wasn't a hassle. At the end of the day, I just hope we can fill the space quickly because I'd hate to see an empty storefront on such a prominent corner.
Official press release:
A general merchandise store would be the best replacement for the Borders bookstore that soon will vacate the high-profile building at Lake Street and Harlem Avenue. That's the word from those who completed a recent online survey posted by the Village.
Some 519 respondents took the brief survey created from more than 140 suggestions sent to the Village via e-mail, facebook and twitter. While the Village cannot select the building's next tenant, officials say input from residents may be of value to the building management company in its marketing efforts.
The top suggestions sent to the Village first were divided into eight categories, which respondents were asked to rank in their order of preference. A general merchandise store was ranked first by nearly 23 percent of the respondents, followed by department store (19.4 percent) and electronics retailer (15.0 percent).
Other preferences by category were home goods (12.6 percent), discount retailer (10 percent), restaurant (10 percent), sporting goods (7.1 percent) and retail clothing/shoes (6.4 percent).
When respondents were asked to voice their support for specific companies, Crate & Barrel or other home-goods store was the top choice, with nearly 82 percent in support. An urban-style Target or other general merchandise store was a close second with about 78 percent in support.
Other popular choices were Macy's or other department store (76.4 percent), Apple store (72.1 percent) and H&M or other retail clothing store (70.3 percent).
"We understand that a survey of this type is not a scientific measurement of community opinion," said Loretta Daly, Oak Park's Business Services Manager. "But they can offer insights into how people feel about what types of retailers they would like to have in the community.
"When more than 500 people take the time to let us know what they think, it is worth noting. Clearly, those individuals who took the survey understood that a building of that size and prominence really needs a strong tenant with broad consumer appeal."