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Orland Park Triangle Project enters new phase with action on development plan
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Orland Park Triangle Project enters new phase with action on development plan

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The Edwards Realty Co. helped build Orland Park Crossing, which houses Mariano’s, P.F. Changs, Yankee Candle and other tenants at 14225 S. 95th Ave.

The Orland Park-based company now has a chance to spruce up the area across the street as well.

The Village of Orland Park Board of Trustees and Mayor Keith Pekau have voted 6-1 to approve a memorandum of understanding and consulting agreement with the company to help develop the remainder of the Downtown Main Street Triangle District.

Three retiring trustees had reservations about how fast this project developed, and James Dodge voted “no” because some board members were left out of the planning process.

Pekau, who won re-election April 6, said he is looking forward to seeing this decades-long project completed with some big-time plans for the remaining nine acres.

“I am thrilled we have agreed to this partnership with Edwards Realty Co. to develop the Triangle, a project that began at the turn of the century,” the mayor said. “Being a local developer and Orland Park residents, Edwards Realty Co. understands what will make this project successful in the eyes of our residents.

“This important step kicks off the process of engaging the community to create a mixed-use development that will be a go-to destination in Orland Park.We look forward to the future of this area where residents and visitors will have greater access to retail, entertainment and dining opportunities. I am confident that our partnership with Edwards Realty Co. will result in outstanding results for the Main Street Triangle area.”

Edwards President Ramzi Hassan made a presentation to the board in mid-March, leaving plenty of options. He likened it to a puzzle where concepts can be moved around in the area close to the 143rd Street Metra Station, Crescent Park and the Ninety Seven Fifty apartment complex.

Crescent Park could be dramatically affected by the changes.

“We want to put a huge (three-story) building on it,” Hassan said. “We want it to be used for entertainment. We could have a 1,500- to 2,000-person multipurpose facility. It would be an area that could host concerts, e-sports events, civic uses, theater and things like that.”

Another plan that could dramatically change the landscape is for six- and five-story mixed-use buildings. Hassan said a rooftop restaurant and patio could go on the sixth floor of the first building.

“This needs to be a project that benefits all of Orland Park, not just the people at 143rd and LaGrange,” Pekau said. “I know Ramzi and his team share that vision.”

Under the memorandum of understanding, the village and Edwards Realty have 12 months to negotiate a development agreement. In that time, land, infrastructure, public improvements, financing options, a master plan, project milestones, timeline and public outreach will be discussed.

With Pekau heading the village’s end of the project and a board featuring members of his People Over Politics party Sean Kampas, Joni Radaszewski and Brian Riordan voted in April 6, there should be little resistance to the project.

“We have been excited about this project from Day 1 and look forward to working closely with the village to develop the Downtown Main Street Triangle,” Hassan said. “Our collaborative approach will take into consideration input from the community and other key stakeholders and set a new standard for offerings available to visitors, residents and businesses in the Orland Park community.”

The Triangle area idea started in then-mayor Dan McLaughlin’s administration in the 1990s. The project caused some unrest in the early 2010s when venerable businesses including Randy’s Meat Market, were torn down to make room for new buildings.

Randy’s closed on July 23, 2011, after more than 50 years at at LaGrange Road and 143rd Street.

“A piece of us is dying today,” Rev. Don Borling said during a blessing on that final day. “This is like losing a loved one.”

The new buildings were erected and opened in the mid-2010s included the Orland Park Crossing specialty shops, Mariano's Fresh Market; Ninety7Fifty on the Park, a mixed-use building with 295 luxury apartments, retail space and structured parking; the University of Chicago Medicine Center for Advanced Care, a four‐story medical office building with a CVS pharmacy store on the first floor; and the Residences of Orland Park Crossing, a 231‐unit residential development and a 500-plus space public parking structure, with 12,000 square feet of first floor commercial space.

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