Economic Development

Lombard sparkled economically during 2017 with over 2,600 building permits issued, amounting to over $233 million in value as residents and business owners invested in new and improved businesses and homes, said William Heniff, Lombard’s director of community development.

“It is the highest numbers we have seen in Lombard in over a decade,” he said, “thanks, in large part, to exciting investments by Mariano’s and by GrayStar, the developers of new apartments at Yorktown Shopping Center.”

The 70,000-square-foot Mariano’s opened to much acclaim in late August on the site of the former K-Mart store at Finley and Roosevelt Roads and construction has begun on two residential buildings at Yorktown Shopping Center. Occupancy in the four-story Elan building and the seven-story Overture building is expected in late 2018 or early 2019, Heniff said.

Elsewhere in town, the Lombard Healthmart Pharmacy is planning to relocate from their long-time location at 805 S. Main St. to the site of the former Carlson Paint Glass and Art Store and Steve Wilk Insurance in the 200 block of South Main Street. The former art store was demolished and construction of a new expanded pharmacy with a drive-thru is underway. They expect to open the new store this summer, Heniff noted.

Just north of the new pharmacy at 101-109 S. Main St., the village has issued a request for proposals on the old DuPage Theater site. They are seeking viable development proposals for that prominent downtown location.

A new 35,000-square-foot prototype LA Fitness health club is also being constructed on the east side of the High Point Shopping Center on the former site of the Old Country Buffet. It is scheduled to open in 2019.

A new 96-room Holiday Inn Express hotel has been approved and construction will start this year on a vacant site along St. Regis Drive behind the Greek Islands Restaurant. It will be the village’s 10th hotel, Heniff said.

Other newly-constructed restaurants that will open in 2018 include Yard House at Fountain Square of Lombard and Anthony’s Coal-Fired Pizza.

Unfortunately, plans for a new Sam’s Club along Butterfield Road have been scrapped, thanks to recent news from the massive national wholesale club that involved scores of closings. Heniff said that the property owner will be working to attract an alternate development.

Yorktown Shopping Center is remaining innovative and competitive in the face of a changing retail environment, he added. They are increasingly attracting and marketing fitness, health and beauty-related businesses which are effectively attracting visitors to the entire center, including the retailers.

A 27-acre parcel along Butterfield Road is currently on the market because the Northern Baptist Theological Seminary relocated to Lisle. A broker team is currently working to market the large parcel, Heniff said. Recognizing the potential need to address substandard infrastructure in the area and on the seminary property, the village quickly stepped in to designate a tax increment financing district for that parcel and the northern part of the nearby Yorktown Center.

“We wanted to have a tool in place so that we could effectively position that property for the future,” he said.

While that educational facility has moved, after 26 years in Lombard, the College Preparatory School of America is sinking its roots ever deeper. Last May the preschool to 12th-grade educational facility broke ground on a $7 million expansion that will increase the capacity of the academically challenging school in the Islamic tradition.

An expansion and modernization of the school at 331 W. Madison St., housed in a former public school that was built in three phases beginning in the 1930s, has long been sought. The new 33,000-square-foot building will serve high school students, allowing preschoolers through eighth-graders to spread out within the existing space. The new facility will increase the campus’ capacity to more than 600 students. It currently has 434.

Highlights of the future high school include a full-size gymnasium with bleachers and locker rooms, new science labs with updated technology and additional classrooms.

Further residential development is also taking place. The former Allied Drywall Material Supply facility on East Windsor Avenue near the Lombard Post Office has been purchased by Emerald Homes, a subsidiary of D.R. Horton Homes. They are presently building 12 new homes, starting from the high $400,000s.

In addition, Airhart Construction continues to construct single family homes in a similar price range at Park Place in downtown Lombard and there continues to be scattered site in-fill residential construction as lots become available.

“The economy is good right now and Lombard is feeling the positive effects,” Heniff said.