Pedestrian Access Study
Our recently reconstituted Streetscape Committee has been busy working with Oakbrook Center mall and our local hotels, restaurants and offices to improve pedestrian access around the mall. Hitchcock Design developed a plan (PDF) that was recently shared with over 40 business representatives. Streetscape Committee Chairman Jeff Kennedy gave a presentation on the plan and the Committee received unanimous consensus to:
- proceed with the project,
- do it in an “Oak Brook professional way” and
- accept the cost sharing proposal of the Village paying 50% of the cost, the mall 25% and the businesses surrounding the mall the remaining 25%.
The project is now in the design phase with the first phase of the construction expected to begin next year.
Village of Oak Brook Economic Development Summit
The Village of Oak Brook held its first Economic Development Summit the morning of Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook. The summit was attended by more than 100 local business and community members, and featured presentations on accomplishments, current activities, and future priorities related to the Village’s Commercial Revitalization and Streetscape Plans.
Inspired by Village President Lalmalani, the summit was oriented to “reignite” the revitalization effort in Oak Brook by providing a platform for stakeholders to discuss what the Village can do to enhance the local business climate. Attendees shared their thoughts on how the Village could attract and retain businesses after participating in a question and answer session with a panel of experts. The panel included: Tracy Mulqueen, Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer; Joe Endress, Vice President at McDonald’s Corporation and Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors; Chuck Fleming, General Manager of Oakbrook Center; Jeff Shay, Vice President at Jones Lang LaSalle; along with Dr. Gopal Lalmalani, Village President; Elaine Zannis, former Village Trustee; Jeff Kennedy, former Village Trustee; David Niemeyer, Village Manager; and Bob Kallien, Community Development Director.
Updates were given on the current and future state of Oak Brook office and retail market. The importance of Oak Brook’s brand was highlighted and Village President Lalmalani discussed re-instating the Commercial Revitalization and Streetscape Committees to focus on the priorities of the Commercial Revitalization Plan and some of the suggestions from this year’s summit. “This is the first step in our efforts to truly implement the key components of the Commercial Revitalization Plan,” said President Lalmalani. “We will continue to solicit input from Oak Brook’s business and residential leaders in this important endeavor.”
Chamber Economic Development Partnership
The Village and Oak Brook Chamber have a unique partnership that proactively addresses economic development needs of the Village. The two organizations work tirelessly to bring new business and keep businesses in Oak Brook. Few things the two Organizations have been working on in just the last few months:
- Completion of the first ever Oak Brook Economic Development Brochure. The brochure highlights the numerous advantages and opportunities available to business looking to locate in Oak Brook.
- The Chamber organized a Commercial Real Estate luncheon with 96 Chicago area office and retail area tenant representatives. Village and business representatives touted the advantages of relocating to Oak Brook and saw a video developed by the Chamber that touts the advantages of a business locating in Oak Brook.
- The Chamber is in the process of sending over 700 letters to existing businesses in Oak Brook reminding them of all of the advantages of staying and expanding in Oak Brook. Targeted letters are also being sent to potential businesses outside Oak Brook detailing the advantages of moving to Oak Brook.
- The Village actively participates in building fairs regularly put on by the Chamber with the objective of keeping Oak Brook’s current tenants engaged and spending dollars in Oak Brook.
This year, a record number (120) of new office and retail representatives were engaged by the partnership. The Village of Oak Brook continues to maintain high office and retail occupancy rates compared to other Chicago suburbs.