Construction For Oberweis Set to Be Complete 'In About a Week'

Will the new Oberweis store at Dempster Street and Skokie Boulevard revitalize West Dempster? The store's construction is set to be complete in about a week, according to a construction manager Patch spoke with on Monday.

Construction for the new Oberweis store near the intersection of Dempster Street and Skokie Boulevard should be complete by the end of the week, according to a site manager Patch spoke with on Monday. It is unclear when the restaurant will be open for business.

It has been about seven months since the village first approved plans for the construction of Oberweis' concept store. The business will be considered one of Oberweis' flagship restaurants, selling ice cream, shakes and even hamburgers with their new addition of "That Burger Joint," which will be attached as part of the new Oberweis store.

The village has done a lot to bring an anchor like Oberweis to West Dempster. The Village of Skokie forcibly purchased Value Transmission, once at 4829 Dempster St.,  in Sept. 2010, for $825,000. It took the village about seven years to purchase the property from the owner, Avery Tarshis, the Chicago Tribune reported. Prior to the purchase, Tarshis was at his location for 22 years. He is now several blocks east on Dempster Street.

Nevertheless, Oberweis is expected to be an anchor to a once desolate area; the village has acquired a variety of businesses since their revitalization plan. There's now a Papa John's Pizza, Sinbad Persian Rugs, a new gas station and two new restaurants near Gross Point Road and Dempster Street.

Meanwhile, Kaufman's Deli is getting a complete overhaul and is expected to be open in the

Yet some say Oberweis got too sweet of a deal.

The store is not expected to dramatically change Skokie’s incoming sales tax revenue. (If Oberweis were to have $1.5 million in annual sales, that would produce $30,000 for the village. While important, that won't make much of a change in an approximate $48 million annual budget.)

However, village officials are hoping this store will be a foundation of a West Dempster Street renaissance. The east – west corridor was once a bustling area, but in recent years has been a victim of the anemic economy and is now riddled with many empty storefronts and some vacant land.

To catalyze the turn around, the village acquired what had been two small properties around 4811 Dempster St. through eminent domain, and sold them as one parcel.

“Hopefully people will see the Oberweis being successful and they can see West Dempster can come back,” said Tom Thompson, Skokie’s Economic Development Director in February.

How optimistic should the village be about the prospects about a West Dempster street revival?

Somewhat, but not overboard, according to one expert.

 “One store by itself is not going to turn things around,” said Suzanne Fogel, chairwoman of the DePaul University Marketing Department, who specializes in consumer behavior. “But it is better than having an empty lot. It could attract people to stop and the best outcome would be if other businesses saw there was activity there and they decided to come along as well.”


Skokie Patch on Facebook 

Daniel I. Dorfman contributed to this article 

michael b October 02, 2012 at 04:39 PM
I'm excited for the new restaurant. The large graphic is gorgeous and adds a hip a modern feel to the area that has sorely been missing. Hopefully this will entice other modern and "current" shops to move into our area. I'm excited for the changes happening around Skokie and and am looking forward to the changes to Downtown as well. Overall, this will make the village a more desirable place to live and lure younger and higher income families to move in. Transformation and gentrifications is what Skokie needs. Its been trapped in a timewarp for too long now and I for one am cautiously optimistic.
Skokie1 October 02, 2012 at 08:33 PM
I agree Michael....Oberweis has done it right, and is a good example of a positive to the village. I think what the village needs to consider is that retail is overbuilt, and the country and its citizens are broke. Eventually, some of the excess retail storefronts will have to be changed to another use, so perhaps areas should be targeted for gentrification.
Ferretlover October 11, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I'm so excited for Oberweis/That Burger Joint to open - I am already referring to it as "My Oberweis"!
Susan Donian February 01, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Troy, thank you for noting this error. I have been wondering why the reporting on this subject is so errorneous. Avery Tarshis was our 'tenant' for decades at that location. My ex-husband, Daniel Donian, and I owned the property through his family's trust. We didn't want to sell the property and ultimately the sale led to very bad things for us and I don't see it doing much good for Skokie..
Susan Donian February 01, 2013 at 11:48 PM
Troy, thank you for your clarification. You are indeed correct. Avery Tarshis was our tenant. My ex-husband, Daniel Donian and I owned the land through his family's Trust.


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