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How Different Can Skokie Look in Two Years?

Many changes that took place last year are slated to take effect as early as next year. Some of those changes include the construction of a Super Walgreens, a proposed Super Walmart and an XSport Fitness. There's also a new train station.

Skokie just might become a super shopping destination for the entire North Shore, as well as neighboring parts of Chicago.

Developer Clark Street proposed The big-box retailer would be surrounded by two banks, a medical facility and small retail outlets like cell phone stores and sandwich shops. The project already has been dubbed "Touhy Marketplace." The development will bring about $1 million in sales tax revenue annually, according to village officials.

More recently, an XSport Fitness health club was proposed to replace the vacant Chicago Cycle also near Touhy and McCormick. The 24-hour gym would be next door to Touhy Marketplace, Lincolnwood Mall and down the street from a Lowes home improvement store.

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Old Orchard Mall, which is slated The mall supports 2,500 employees and sees 13 million visits a year.

Meanwhile, Walgreens has begun constructing The shopping plaza previously occupying the land has been leveled. Specifically, the proposed building at the northeast corner of Dempster and Crawford will be 13,125 square feet on a 42,000-square-foot parcel. The one story building will stand 22-24 feet high and feature a drive through pharmacy and grocery section.

Just west from the upcoming Walgreens at Dempster and Skokie Boulevard, which will sell burgers and fries alongside its ice cream. Many vacant shopping plazas in West Dempster were purchased and torn down by the village.

All of that being said, there's still a lot more going on in Skokie.

The upcoming addition of a new CTA Yellow Line stop at Skokie Boulevard and Oakton Street This already has attracted new business, as stores are popping up just west of the stop. It remains to be seen if this will increase foot traffic in the downtown area. 

What people are saying

Skokie Patch super user Earl Weiss , "More real estate tax revenue, more sales tax revenue. Skokie people don't have to send their money to Chicago or Niles [to shop at] Walmart. I don't know how much worse this will make Touhy traffic or what the plans are."

Chicagoans also have an opinion.

"My family lives in Devon [area] and they know a Walmarts coming to Skokie," said Rogers Park resident Justin Meyers. "Our family has been shopping in Skokie since forever."

Meyers was at Village Crossing when Skokie Patch caught up to him. He said his family usually goes to Old Orchard Mall "when we need to get something nice." He added that their proximity to Skokie and the upcoming Walmart is a plus.

"People say all sorts of stuff about Walmart, but I bet if they shopped there they'd like it," the 24-year-old said. "It's a plus in my book."

Art Baltazar, told Skokie Patch that other downtown business owners joke about wanting to move their store closer to the upcoming Yellow Line stop. His neighbor, Levon Kirakosyan, owner of Siunik Armenian Grill, is because of the "excellent opportunity" he will have to serve more customers.

Others, however, are concerned about all the traffic the new stores will generate. of a new Walgreens at Dempster and Crawford prior to its approval. The group pointed out that the intersection is already busy, and building a 24-hour mega Walgreens would only complicate the matter.

"I wish they wouldn't build it," . "There is so much traffic [at the proposed site] already and we avoid it right now at all cost."

Read more: See our other business news coverage

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Daniel I. Dorfman also contributed to this article ~

Frank April 05, 2012 at 12:54 PM
It seems like the only renovations at Old Orchard include bigger and more visable signage. Some are so visable, you can see them from the highway going North. Does the village signing ordinance come it to play here?
Scott Holtz April 05, 2012 at 02:06 PM
They are doing a major interior renovation as well including a new play area, new fronts on stores, a new enclosed area (glass box) structure for presentations and rest. They plan to include new furnishings and improved store placement by creating "zones" of retailers who compliment each other. The Village took that sign into consideration and approved it. It was covered both here on Patch and in the Skokie Review.
nancy9028 April 07, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Sadly though, little of what is there presently or the above plans for other spots in Skokie, make me excited about the future of downtown Skokie, With some rare exceptions, downtown Oakton lacks both destination shopping attractions and pediatrian friendly streetscapes. We need creative lighting, seating, innovative markets, and places that will draw those looking for great places to eat. Come to downtown Skokie any Saturday night and you see we are definitely not there.
Scott Holtz April 08, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Great crowd at the Skokie Theatre tonight, Kabul House was full and Libertad seemed to be very active and all on a holiday weekend!

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