BERWYN – The site once was the place where those born to be wild would come to buy their life-long dream. Soon it will be the place for those who are no longer the wild and carefree, to keep there dream alive, safe and dry.
The Illinois Harley-Davidson store at 1301 Harlem Avenue has been vacant since the store moved to its new location in Countryside in April 2012. Berwyn Building Director Charles Lazzara said the property was purchased in January, and these days, heavy equipment is gutting out the expansive building for its next life as a store-it-yourself facility, Berwyn Self Storage.
And that, Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero said, is a perfect fit for the property.
“Because of the amount of traffic on Harlem [Avenue], the egress and ingress has always been terrible,” Lovero said. “Harley Davidson [had] struggled with it for years.”
Lovero said the property was shown to several retail operations but the traffic issue was always a drawback. It was ideal for a storage business, he added, because of the low traffic such a business would be expected to generate.
A demolition permit was issued five months ago for the site, and a construction permit was issued March 6. Because the building will be required to have fire sprinklers per city code, water service to the building will need to be upgraded.
Constriction is moving at a brisk pace, Lovero said, and he expects the facility to be open in the fall.
The Harley store closed its doors in April 2012 and moved to its current location at 9950 Joliet Road in Countryside a month later.