BERWYN – Berwyn’s redevelopment efforts at Cermak Plaza took some additional steps forward July 22 when Berwyn’s City Council approved a redevelopment agreement for the final phase of a redevelopment plan at the iconic shopping center, at the southeast corner of Cermak Road and Harlem Avenue.
The $6 million project includes renovating inline space at the far east side of the center for occupancy by Ross Dress for Less and developing a new out lot to make way for a Longhorn Steakhouse.
The two new operations are estimated to create 58 full-time jobs and $428,000 in new annual sales and property taxes.
Completion of phase III will reduce the vacancy rate from 11 percent to less than 1 percent on the largest retail property in the city of Berwyn. It is the first time in decades the vacancy rate at the plaza has been at such a low level.
Revitalization efforts at Cermak Plaza began in 2008 with improvements to the shopping center’s parking lot, which included new pavement, lighting, wind turbines, landscaping, the installation of traffic calming features and the relocation of Walgreen’s into an out lot.
Phase II commenced in 2010 and included a facade overhaul, along with the demolition and new construction of the space that currently houses anchor tenant Meijer Marketplace. To date, total development costs total more than $22 million.
City Administrator Brian Pabst said the good news is just beginning at Cermak Plaza.
“This redevelopment agreement is another step in our major development efforts in the city of Berwyn, “ Pabst said. “There will be additional companies brought to Berwyn that the citizens will find very useful.”
Berwyn Development Corporation Executive Director Anthony Griffin said new life has been brought to Cermak Plaza.
At the completion of the project, Cermak Plaza will have added an additional 7 percent of space to Berwyn’s “most important property,” Griffin said, creating a boost to Berwyn’s economy.