MOD Pizza opens, more to come in Machesney Park’s bid for businesses

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Business is booming along Route 173 in Machesney Park. Several new stores have opened along the busy corridor over the past several months, and more are coming in the next few.

MOD Pizza on West Lane Road, near Alpine, opened its doors on Friday as a line wrapped around the building to sample food from the national pizza chain.

“I thought I would try this new business since I live down the road and it’s a nice change of pace,” said Machesney Park resident, Jennifer Ramczyk.

MOD Pizza chose the area because of “the way that the economy is here, the amount of people that travel through,” Catherine Broderick, a spokesperson for the chain, said. “Since we have this building here, the community has been incredible. They have reached out and they’re very welcoming.”

The pizza chain is the latest in a string of businesses that have settled in Machesney Park in the last several years.

Mayor Steve Johnson says it’s an exciting time for the village. “We have the greatest asset: the tollway, the 173 corridor. It’s a huge proponent of our business.”

Many of the businesses moving onto the Route 173 corridor are national chains, including Ulta Beauty, Ross Dress for Less, and Rue 21.

Construction is currently underway for a Casey’s General Store near Forest Hills Road.

With all the attention that Route 173 is getting from new business, Johnson wants to focus some energy on Hwy 251.

“We’ve reached out to 45 companies [from] outside the area,” Mayor Johnson said. “We’ve already had five or six responses immediately, within three or four days.”

Ramczyk hopes village leaders can maintain the momentum in drawing businesses to the area.

“People like to live near businesses,” she said. “I’m hoping that encourages people to live here and see how great Machesney Park is.”

Mayor Johnson says this spring Machesney Park will be changing their signage village-wide and adding new directional signs to areas of interest.

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