With the announcement Monday night that Des Plaines restaurant owner Nick Mitchell has purchased a large section of property east of land he owns on Oakton Street, the scope of redevelopment in that area immediately takes on a different look.
Plans no longer are limited to Mitchell's proposal to build a 12-story residential building for active senior citizens.
, appearing before members of the Des Plaines Plan Commission
in City Hall Monday night, laid out his
vision for future development of his
property.Mitchell is the owner of Grazie's restaurant, located on the north side of Oakton Street west of Lee Street.
Since then, Mitchell
has said that he
wants to purchase the nearby OSHA property in order to widen the footprint of his
residential project and thus lower the height by about 20-ft.It was recently learned that Mitchell
did buy the OSHA building property as well as adjoining land as part of a package purchase from a single owner.Property includes in the purchase was land south of the OSHA property all the way to Oakton Street and east to an access road off of Oakton Street to the Jewel food store parking lot.
At Monday night's Plan Commission meeting, Mitchell
said, "In the future I envision donating and building a youth center focusing on children in need.It would be sort of like a YMCA that would also be run through Christian Ministries, that would be a place for youth.As you can see, I'm interested in giving to Des Plaines and I plan to be here for many years to come."
As for existing businesses on the Oakton Street property Mitchell
now owns, he
said they would remain in operation for the time being.
"In phase II, those shops would be the site of the youth center," he
said.Those shops include a Dunkin Donuts, Charcoal Delights restaurant, and an optical business.
Whether Mitchell's plan will garner City Council approval remains to be seen.Plan Commissioners unanimously voted against his
proposal to vacate Times Drive, which bisects his
planned area of development.By vacating Times Drive, the city would state that it no longer wants the property to remain a public street and would sell it to Mitchell
Tom Becker (6th), council members met with Mitchell
and Arredia in the Mayor's 6th floor City Hall office "one-on-one" three or four months ago.
Last Wednesday, Becker, Arredia and Mitchell
met with the owners of two businesses on Executive Way, behind Grazie's
to inform them of the redevelopment proposal and to try to work out a solution to the dilemma created by the possible vacation of Times Drive.
Forbing also said that Mitchell
has offered to buy an option to purchase his
property, a possibility Mitchell
confirmed at Monday's Plan Commission meeting.Forbing added that it is his understanding that one idea Mitchell
has is to construct an assisted nursing care facility on the site where Des Plaines Publishing