WHEATON – In his State of the City address, Wheaton Mayor Michael Gresk took note of the number of businesses that continue to flock to the city.
"New businesses in Wheaton are always a welcome sign, and it's been refreshing to see once-vacant spaces now being occupied by new businesses like Miroballi Shoes, a new CVS Pharmacy on Naperville Road, OMG! Cafe, Choun's restaurant and more," Gresk said in the video address presented Jan. 19 at a Wheaton Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Cantigny Park's Le Jardin restaurant.
The event, presented by the chamber, was sponsored by Northwestern Medicine.
Gresk said that in the new year, the city will continue to see new commercial development.
A new Whole Foods Market is set to open Jan. 25 in a portion of the former Dominick's store in the Danada Square East shopping center in Wheaton. The market is moving from its current 39,000-square-foot store in the nearby Rice Lake Square shopping center in Wheaton to a new 55,000-square-foot space.
The rest of the former Dominick's store will be occupied by a Sierra Trading Post, which sells clothing, outdoor gear, sporting goods and other items.
"The new store in Danada Square East is nearly complete, and the renovation is already spurring activity in the shopping center, with the addition of a new Starbucks and more changes coming soon," Gresk said.
The city's downtown also will soon be getting a facelift, he said, with the start of phase one of the city's Downtown Streetscape Plan. This phase will include improvements to Front Street from West to Cross streets.
"You will see improvements [to] our parking facilities, better access for pedestrians and bicyclists, and increased signage," Gresk said. "Creating festival streets and a centrally located park, making enhancements to South Main Street and the French Market, and overall upgrades to streetscapes downtown are all part of this important five-year project."
In taking questions from the audience, Gresk announced the Macaroni Grill at 21 Blanchard Circle – which has been closed since a structure fire at the restaurant in January 2016 – is set to reopen in four weeks.
Jeff Reiter, senior manager of communications at Cantigny Park, said he appreciated hearing what Gresk had to say.
"I think it's always great to hear directly from the mayor," Reiter said. "We were pleased to have him as a guest at Cantigny. From what I could hear, there's a lot of progress being made in the city of Wheaton, and all systems are go. I thought it was a very positive rundown of what was accomplished in 2016 and a good summary of some of the prospects for 2017."