Opinion: Are Businesses Being Driven Away?
What is the village of Deerfield doing to bring new business to our city while helping current businesses from joining the growing ranks of those businesses that have not survived?
In driving by Deerbrook Mall this week, I took a long hard look at the remnants. Because that is what is left at Deerbrook Mall. Remnants of a mall that once was busy and booming. Now, what is left is half of an entire shopping center that will soon be completely empty.
With Wonder! come and gone, Best Buy closing, Boston Market, Kuhn’s Delicatessen, Jamba Juice and the barbershop in Deerbrook Mall all closed, what is going to happen?
Lake Cook Road construction certainly had taken a toll us as local residents, but I had no idea the eventual repercussions for local businesses.
In addition to Deerbrook Mall woes, Cadwell Corners has continued to struggle, with Stein Mart closing this past winter and many shops in Lake Cook Plaza recently shuttering including Hooker’s Nook, Healthsouth, 71st Place Big & Tall and Diplomat Pharmacy.
The Border’s building, soon to be a medical office building, and the building that for a short while housed Over the Border have also been sitting empty for a year or longer.
Can this be blamed completely on Lake Cook Road construction? The economy? Business cycles? Likely, all of the above. A horrible combination of timing, the recession and construction.
As a Deerfield resident, shopping local is important to me. I like the option of going a mile or less to run to the grocery store, bookstore, pharmacy—that is part of the reason we love living in Deerfield.
The proximity to so many local businesses. With these recent and frequent closings, I am concerned. Will prospective residents choose suburbs like Northbrook or Highland Park instead of Deerfield when they see so many empty storefronts? With all these shops gone, what is going to be next?
I look at our neighboring communities that seem to be growing and blossoming with new businesses. I look at how Highland Park transformed their Borders into four or five smaller businesses. New gelato shops, jewelry stores, restaurants—bringing people into Highland Park with events like Restaurant Week, among many others.
What is Deerfield doing to promote businesses to want to come to Deerfield? To have shoppers want to come to here? Clearly, not enough of either. I believe we need to take a lesson from our neighboring communities in order to make Deerfield the place businesses and shoppers want to be.
And while there are many businesses who survived Round One of Lake Cook Road construction, Round Two is coming next summer. What is Deerfield doing to assure we do not see another massive round of business closings?
I think we have a lot of work to do with little time to waste.