The former K-Mart location in Loves Park has sat vacant for many years, but the city of Loves Park is now looking to turn the lifeless property… into a bustling retail center.
“Poor Taco Bell, they were the only ones here for years,” said Loves Park Mayor Greg Jury as he spole about how the Taco Bell at Forest Hills and Alpine has three new neighbors. Starbucks and ATI physical therapy moved into a brand new retail center at the old K-Mart parking lot.
Boxed Up, a self storage facility, actually moved into the old K-Mart, and potentially with many more to come.
Jury added, “I think it’s gonna bring a lot of people back to shopping in this area.”
Jury is excited about the revitalization of the former K-Mart property, which has sat vacant for nearly a decade. He was joined by Sunil Puri, president of First Midwest Group, the developer behind the project.
Jury said, “First Midwest started talking about this in early ’16 and then they purchased it in ’16, and as you can tell they’ve done a lot of improvements over the last year.”
Puri says he’s only getting started.
Puri said, “Kind of re-energized it with a Starbucks and ATI, and a few more tenants that are ready to come. We have two more outlets. I’ve been talking to a food retailer and some other retailers that will be taking outlets over here.”
Part of Puri’s desire to revamp this once dark corner is personal. He says Loves Park is home to the very first building his company built, and he wants to do what he can to bring life back to a part of the city he feels has been neglected for too long.
Puri added, “This is a celebration of something that is re-purposed and given new life, and it’s part of a community where we don’t have to drive passed here and feel sad in any way, or feel embarassed in any way because it’s going to be lit up like the baseball diamond today at Wrigley Field.”
Puri added that the total cost for the project will be over $15 million, and Mayor Greg Jury said since they’re still in the planning phase of the project, more details won’t be available until spring of next year.