Developer to Revive Long-Vacant Bank Building in Downtown Downers Grove

A team from Holladay Properties plans to redevelop a one-acre parcel of land at 5100 Forest Ave., dubbed "Burlington Station."

"Burlington Station," located at 5100 Forest Ave. in downtown Downers Grove, will be redeveloped by Holladay Properties, an Indiana-based real estate firm. Photo Credit: Holladay Properties
"Burlington Station," located at 5100 Forest Ave. in downtown Downers Grove, will be redeveloped by Holladay Properties, an Indiana-based real estate firm. Photo Credit: Holladay Properties
Plans are underway to revive a long-vacant bank building in downtown Downers Grove.

Holladay Properties, a South Bend, IN–based commercial real estate firm, recently acquired the 13,620 square foot commercial/office building located at 5100 Forest Ave., company officials announced Tuesday. 

The facility, formerly home to TCF Bank, is located on approximately one acre of land at the intersection of Forest Avenue and Gilbert Avenue,, and has been dubbed “Burlington Station” by the developers.

Holladay’s Northwest Indiana division, which covers the Chicago MSA, will lead the redevelopment of the site. Drew Mitchell, vice president of development, has been selected to serve as project manager.

“Holladay Properties is thrilled about the opportunity to redevelop this parcel in downtown Downers Grove,” Mitchell said in a press release. “The village of Downers Grove has a rich history and we are excited to be a part of the continued growth and development of Downers Grove.”

Holladay officials said they were attracted to the project because of the area’s strong demographics, flexible zoning and vibrant downtown presence. While plans are still being finalized for the property, Holladay has begun evaluating and marketing the site, and is already working with the Downtown Management Corporation in Downers Grove, Mitchell said.

“This particular site affords a myriad of development opportunities and we have already begun the process of exploring development opportunities with village staff,” Mitchell said. “Furthermore, we are experiencing strong interest from retailers as well as other developers who are interested in the premium downtown location that offers substantial parking, traffic and visibility coupled with immediate accessibility to the Metra express line to Chicago.”

According to the release, Holladay expects to finalize a development plan and begin construction on the site by the end of the year.
Kent Frederick July 19, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Now we know why the Village was so strongly against putting the senior assisted-living facility on the TCF Bank site. However, considering the amount of vacant retail space, and soon-to-be vacant space, do we need more retail development in downtown Downers Grove? Further, will there be sufficient parking, or will shoppers be taking space in the library lot, which is always at a premium?
Kelly July 19, 2013 at 11:42 AM
An anchor with a strong national retailer or restaurant that is not pasta and pizza! A good deli! A housewares shop, or Starbucks could move into a larger space?
abhay July 19, 2013 at 01:17 PM
IMO, if Starbucks were to move, they would move to the south side of Metra station, somewhere between the parking lot and the station.
DHD July 19, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Please no more Italian restaurants!!
Tiffany Reynolds July 21, 2013 at 11:14 AM
We could use a good Chinese restaurant (Panda express acceptable). We have Thai Café but China Panda has gone downhill since under new management. How about a big box store that isn't open only 10 am - 3pm M-F like most of the downtown boutiques (no wonder they don't stay in business long!)? No more Italian restaurants @Kelly, we already have Bertos as a deli so I would pass on that We have more than enough salons and day spas downtown We have Lemon Tree and Downtown Food Mart as convenient stores so pass on that too OBVIOUSLY no more coffee shops (Caribu and Starbucks has us covered
Kent Frederick July 21, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Tiffany, The boutiques aren't open only 10am to 3pm. But you are right that when mall stores and big box stores are open until 9pm M-Sat, a downtown business can't only be open past 5pm on the traditional Monday and Thursday evenings. And any store that is closed during a Friday night car show just doesn't understand how many potential customers they are losing. That said, here are some ideas for restaurant cuisines: BBQ, Caribbean, Creole/Cajun, French, German, seafood, or a steakhouse.
Karen M. Bushy July 22, 2013 at 05:12 PM
I have a Downers Grove business that is not downtown, but friends do - - - and they'd move in a heartbeat if they could. The only 'business' they get during the car shows and other 'festivals' is people wanting to use the bathroom! Actual customers can't park, people wander in with drippy food and beverages that don't do great things for the inventory, and just make a mess in the bathroom - no thanks! I'll stay out of the downtown area.....nice idea, but tough on retailers.
DHD July 22, 2013 at 08:04 PM
I like the car show but once a year would be enough. I have to completely avoid the downtown area on Fridays because I can't park and traffic is a joke. I would like to visit the restaurants on Friday, but I can't.
Kent Frederick July 24, 2013 at 03:37 PM
First, I'm a car nut and go to the car shows frequently. Second, my family usually stops at Every Day's a Sundae for ice cream, and we often wind up stopping at Anderson's and picking up a book or game for my son. So, maybe I'm the exception. Third, the point of having a car show that tends to disrupt things it that is gives downtown the appearance of being vibrant. People who get caught in a traffic jam see that there are plenty of shops and restaurants and probably come back on a night that is less busy. I grew up in a suburb that usually "rolled up the sidewalks" at 5pm. So, instead of people shopping locally, they wind up going to Oak Brook or Yorktown.


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