Deerbrook Gives More Renovation Details

All stores will have outside entrances.

All stores at the renovated will have outside entrances if plans under consideration by the owners come to fruition, according to sources associated with the project.

Even before the recent closings of , sources associated with the project decided a major overhaul of the more than 40-year-old shopping center was in order.

The mall has survived the demise of a number of businesses, including Montgomery Ward, one of its original anchors.

“This will be a trophy power center,” a person associated with the project said. “It won’t be competitive with downtown Deerfield. We’re going to improve the center with functional, better space. We’re getting rid of the mall portion. Every store will have an outside entrance.”

Representatives of Deerbrook have been working with the Village as they develop their plan. in the near future.

“Staff and I have been working actively with ownership on a long term effort to reinvigorate that shopping center,” Rosenthal said at the April 16 Village Board meeting. “We expect a letter of intent detailing a strategic multi phased approach on this key property in the next few weeks.”

Sources associated with the project plan on a mix large format stores like the existing and to remain much as they are. is expected to remain an integral part of the development. “We are happy with T.J. Maxx,” the source said.

These larger enterprises will be blended with smaller operators like and restaurants such as . The outparcels like the Devon Bank will be part of the plan as well.

Wang April 27, 2012 at 12:04 PM
As a relatively new member of the Village, can someone explain why there appears to be nothing of commercial value at the LCR/Waukegan intersection? I seriously don't understand...it appears to be such a prime spot. I did hear a rumor there's a plan to bring Target in.
The Q April 27, 2012 at 12:44 PM
This mall needs to be torn down, and the one behind it, not rehabbed. So much wasted space. The traffic is horrible and nobody wants to come near the place. This is another missed opportunity by Deerfield leadership to increase the tax base and create a great shopping/living destination.
Julie April 27, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Please....no more banks!!! There are bank branches on every corner. We need more sit down, casual dining options in this area that serve all day!
RB April 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM
I've lived in Deerfield over 20 years and have been unable to figure it out. There's a puzzle when it comes to some aspects of Village Government concerning retail, and when you least expect action...you'll get it, on tree ordinances, aggressive dog laws, aggressive parking lot concern resulting in our downtown looking like a Wal Mart parking lot, signage requirements, pedestrian underpass renovations...the cart before the horse. As far as that intersection goes....I will guess that it has to do with several factors. 1) Two counties intersect at Lake Cook Road 2) traffic pattern 3) Deerfield, Northbrook and some how Northfield Villages come into play 4) Deerfield in general has good demographics but strange shopping habits. Consider the number of National chains opening in the area and failing. Demographics indicate great location. Reality... ends up, it was a terrible choice. I can't figure out why. Orvis, Baja Fresh, Baker, Office Depot, Chi Chi's, Chili's, Stoney River, On the Border, Wolf camera, great indoors, all come to mind. Some that came in and have not closed are probably hanging by a thread. This issue requires professional study. The board are not retail marketing professionals. That $600k we spent on the pedestrian underpass remodel would have gone a long way toward building a workable plan.
NB April 27, 2012 at 01:15 PM
I've always felt that the big problem with retail in Deerfield is that the layouts of the shopping centers are simply terrible and whoever owns them tend to make them worse. 10-15 years ago, while Deerbrook was dated, it was full. There were movies, restaurants and the inside portion of the mall was full of small stores. Then the owners messed around with it and now it's failing. The same could be said for the center across the street. Office Depot and B&N were there and they got lured away. There really is little that the village can do to bring retail to town other than make sure that retail is welcome and that getting set up is not too burdensome. A more agressive approach could help, but our officials, and the professional staff always seem more laissez faire when it comes to this. If we want that changed, then we need to change local government and for some reason, we always seem to re-elect the same people.
Terrie April 27, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Sometimes the Cost of Rehab is way more than just plowing it and starting from scratch. The Village needs to consider both - if not all of it a partial tear down and do it in phases. I agree that the Village needs to do feasibility studies and find out what the consumer habits are - In case our elite govt officials havent noticed - we are in a recession and consumers shopping habits have changed. Get some real Market Analysis done first and then make your plans. I agree we need more casual dining establishments, small shops, and a place that is Pedestrian Friendly - there is a ton of land available - bring in some Real Professional Planners lik e Camiros (312)922-9211 - or The Greeby Companies (847-604-8776 - they have done outstanding work all over the country - and design to the demographics of the market place.
Phil Abuster April 27, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I hope the mayor and the DF board can learn from the many mistakes at Dearfield Square, first of all if you're going to have a parking lot how about making it so that more than just one car use the lanes? What about bringing in a business that will actually appeal to consumers? What about making it look attractive? How about adding some attractive landscaping? DF Square has the worst parking lot with only 5 or so retailers and landscaping that looks like Walmart rejects. All eyes are on the board to do this right otherwise don't bother running for reelection! There is nothing more important than bringing in business to this town so forget about your little tree and dog ordinances because if you can't do this right you'll just have to go.
Tony Horwitz April 27, 2012 at 02:41 PM
This discussion leaves the impression that the village has control over planning for these parcels. My understanding is that the village can only approve or disapprove of plans which private developers will bring from time to time. It's really up to the owners of the space and the developers to get it right and have some imagination and do proper due diligence to see that the mistakes of the past aren't repeated. Theoretically, the owners take the financial risk and the result is their potential gain (or loss). It obviously behooves them to generate a profitable plan. The village, for its part, needs to use connections to prod the developers to listen to the community, and most of all, to get out of the way.
Tony Horwitz April 27, 2012 at 02:56 PM
My 2 cents: Pedestrian focused planning. Give people a safe way and a reason to walk around. Put a parking lot in the old Barnes and Noble and a pedestrian bridge to the other two corners. A park like setting, with outdoor gathering spaces and keep the cars away. Al fresco dining without carbon monoxide and noise pollution. Maybe a large berm shielding the area from traffic. Small to medium live music/local theater/comedy/improv venues with dining and outdoor seating. Fill in with upscale retail and anchor with an expanded Jewel (which could have its own parking). Work with the Park District, Brunswick and Joy of the Game to make recreation part of the plan. Utilize the tollway spur access to improve traffic flow. Lose the Red Roof Inn. Well, at least they could make a safer parking lot with better flow. Just my nickels worth. At least the Lake Cook construction should be done and that impediment to business removed for at least 20 years or so (we hope).
The Q April 27, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Tony that's a lot of Deerfield village involvement.......in the end the village can do a ton to get developers motivated to make changes. I do community Developement for a living and its the towns that make the difference. Just look at northbrook and Lincolnshire......very little empty wasted space and lots of Developement. Why not in Deerfield? Why does Deerfield have so much commercial vacancy?
Steve April 27, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen- Please tell me what yopur preferences would be! I am a local business person who has been trying to run a small Hair Studio for 18 years now. I am currently in Highwood and have served the North Shore area for quite some time. I can tell you from a small business stand point the biggest problem for most businesses is two fold. Rent cost is one of the biggest hinderences to any business. It has gone up and up as a result of large corporations and investment groups buying and selling comercial property over and over to eek out the last possible dime of proffit for the investors. Does this help the common business person or the consumer? And the second part is the large shift of consumers buying retail products on the internet. These businesses offer little service and support and do not give you any ability to touch, try on, test drive etc... any of the proiducts they sell, they also offer a very diffficult or tedious return policy or customer support is relatively non existent. These all are huge cost savings to the businesses and why they can sell their products at large discounts. But what personal enjoyment do you as a consumer get from browsing online? Can you load the family in the car and take them to a destination and have an enjoyable day of social interactgion, dining and together time sitting in front of a computer screen?
Steve April 27, 2012 at 05:32 PM
I remember being social with friends and family going shopping and out to eat! This is still available to us but getting so costly that the average person can no longer take advantage of it. So what do wish to see at Deerbrook? A shopping center you and your friends and family can go be social at to shop and dine, maybe catch a movie or just meet for a drink? Or do you wish to see more large box style franchise stores that offer little to no variety or personal touches such as a privately owned store owners can provide? I remember this site from my youth growing up in Northbrook. We used to ride our bikes to the McDonalds or to the Golden Bear to eat. I remember Phil Johnsons restaraunt and the Chalet restaraunt. Most are gone and rep[laced by large shopping centers full of corporate stores. Do they provide jobs for our youth to work at? Do they provide items we need orthings that reflect our person taste? I am nostalgic and wish for simpler times and for the re-emergence of the small business person who made this countrry great. Can we please keep these entrepreneuers in mind since so many people need to create jobs for themselves these days? We could spawn new small businesses that can hire our youth and bring warmth back to our communities. Thanks for listeneing, Steve Bachner The Hair Studio by Steve Highwood Il
RB April 27, 2012 at 06:14 PM
The board did not listen when complaints were made about the parking lot layout for Deerfield Square. They did not listen when told the Chase Bank would basically have the back side facing the street when normally in a downtown, you want stores looking out onto the street. Same for across the street, that's one ugly Sprint store with the entrance on the wrong side. The Village let that happen. I don't have much hope for this board managing well during this retail crisis, but we can voice our opinions and hope for the best!
Carol Bergquist April 27, 2012 at 09:51 PM
I like what Glenview did creating an enticing pedestrian environment that invites browsing and dining. I agree we need to create a separate area for cars because they are noxious to the environment and are not aesthetically pleasing. Not to mention the safety hazard they create. I'm tired of big box stores as well they are ugly eyesores. Bring back some charm and beauty, make me want to be there.
Amy Parker April 28, 2012 at 01:44 AM
What a great conversation. Here's what I'd like to see, and what I would have liked to see in downtown Deerfield when it was redeveloped. BREAK UP THE PARKING. One giant parking lot looks crappy. Put trees and sidewalks into the parking areas so people can walk safely (and for pity's sake, plant them correctly so they have a chance of survival. If all the stores will have exterior entrances, think about grouping them and grouping the parking so it looks more organic and people-friendly, and less utilitarian. I agree: big box stores are unappealing and impersonal. They make every town look exactly like every other town. We should aim for minimizing their drab impact. Frankly, I have always loathed that stupid Best Buy sign. And Wonder! was pretty awful too. Mixed use might not be a bad idea; maybe some multilevel housing (retirement housing--people can walk to the stores?) tucked away from the main intersection? A multi-use movie theater or performance space? Could a not-for-profit arts space be part of the mix? Think about shade. It must be over 100 degrees walking across that parking lot in the height of summer. Think about wind-blocks. A nasty winter wind makes for a daunting trudge too. An appealing space has buildings with varied heights and attractive surface materials. Don't overestimate the power of the Village to control these elements, but I hope we don't roll over and play dead, either!
Bringin' Down Briarwood April 28, 2012 at 03:43 AM
If the village doesn't know how to influence the direction of one its largest retail spaces, then we truly do have the wrong people in office.
Bringin' Down Briarwood April 28, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Steve, I'd be surprised if anybody disagreed with your sentiments. However, the village and the developer need to show they know the steps needed to create this type of environment. I can rattle off a minimum of a half dozen areas between Irving Park Rd and Half Day Rd where leaders were sharp enough to create these environments. Why not Deerfield? Do it wisely and an area can be created that supports small business ... especially in Deerfield.
Bringin' Down Briarwood April 28, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Pleeeeeeease, somebody listen to Amy. She's spot on!! It won't take that much. The only thing I would add to her plan is a small park. The one thing I really like about her direction is the attempts to create/direct foot traffic. I hope this is the way the Village is thinking. Stop talking about the stores. Start talking about the space, the foot traffic and how stores can fit into that plan.
Bringin' Down Briarwood April 28, 2012 at 04:13 AM
My last comment (for now) ... To the village ... please tell the discussion of ongoing partnerships with TJ Maxx, Office Max and Bed Bath and Beyond (as well as Jewel and Sports Authority in other articles) is simply an attempt to placate these companies and their existing leases. If this was a successful retail formula, we wouldn't be having this discussion. As the cliche goes, you can put lipstick on pig, but it's still a pig.
Andrew April 28, 2012 at 04:45 AM
To me it sounds like the plans are hinting towards something like old orchard. I've been to old orchard dozens of times and it is always busy. If those are the intentions, i personally would think it would attract a lot of business. And should it attract good business, it will bring in other restaurants and retailers which would only boost deerfield's popularity.
Steve April 28, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Has anyone been to Downtown Disney in Orlando? If you have you will have seen exactly what is being discussed here. You have a shallow parking facility around the expanse of the shopping center. Then within the shopping center is a Myriad of island buildings or stand alone buildingfs housing different stores and goods. Also restaraunts etc... It is an open air plan with a lake in the center. It has outdoor seating at the food vendors as well as small kiosk style booths. It utilizes space in a very appealing manner and it draws people to come and make a day of shopping dining and entertainment. Now can they do something of that type of venue in Deerfield? Sure but the cost would be enormous, but you could use the idea and create that type of shopping and dining environment. And if done wisely the stores could range in size from large to small and it would create spaces that all buisness owners could afford given the type of buisiness they are in. I also want to mention The Glen. There is a concept that has value as well. The downtown area of the Glen has brought back the small town flavor of a central downtown like we used to have. It has made all the stores sit close to the street. They have placed access roads that go back behind the stores to a multi level Garage facility. These are accessed by back entrances to the stores as well. SO the customers are not inconvenienced whether they park along the street or in the garage behind.
Steve April 28, 2012 at 03:40 PM
This type of environment handles the needs of the parking and creates a wonderful environment for window shopping, dining, along with streetside cafe's, and just an enjoyable walking friendly environment. The Glen unfortunately is limited in space and is a bit restaraunt heavy and does not offer the variety of stores it could have with more space. But as I stated it handles parking very well and customers want to be able to park close to where they are going. This is key! These are two thoughts that could support second level housing and or senior housing as well. The location can serve a variety of needs from the corporate businesses to the residential housing around the parcel. This does need to be thought through carefully and I hope the powers that be are paying attention to this conversation. It should help them to create a space that serves the needs of the vendors as well as the needs of the clientele. It needs to be symbiotic. And I stress, we need more private busineses. The big box stores have gotten to be to saturated in a given area. It is apparent when a store like Best buy goes out and slashes their store numbers in half and still will be able to be well represented to their customers. I am willing to drive a bit further to get something I need, not everything has to be right next door. It takes the fun out of shopping!! It also allows for a shopping trip to be an outing rather than a errand.
Carol Bergquist April 28, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I really like what was done at the Glen. Please don't give us a patched up Deerbrook it is like putting lipstick on a pig.
The Q April 28, 2012 at 05:13 PM
The glen is an excellent example of how it should be done.....a mixed use area with town homes, condos, and shops.
Bringin' Down Briarwood April 28, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Does anybody really not like the Glen? There are aspects I'm not in love with, but for the most part, it's a reasonable addition to the community. That's why this discussion seems so obvious to me. Copy the Glen with different stores and move along. Instead we're talking about Office Max, TJ Maxx and a dying Jewel. None of the "experts" whispering to reporters even mentions the place that might be the most recently successful business in Deerbrook - Noodles (also in the Glen).
David Greenberg April 30, 2012 at 04:45 AM
What personal enjoyment do I get from browsing online? In no particular order: No traffic, no parking problems, no schlepping, no dealing with weather, no flyers on my windshield when I come out, no panhandlers, no solicitors by the front doors for whatever charity is the favorite of the company, no wear/tear/gas/oil use of the car... I find what I want online, and it shows up at my door when I want it to.
Jake May 07, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Tony, we are seeking people who want to appear in an on-camera interview about people's opinion on the Deerbrook Mall. Interested in the interview?


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