This article was originally published on August 26, 2013, but due to the fact that the InSite proposal is up for discussion again at this week’s upcoming LLOC meeting (Wednesday, September 11), we decided to replay it today as a refresher for anyone interested in weighing in on the debate. UPDATE: Click here to read InSite’s updated proposal (including a revised architectural renderings).
By Michael Romain
InSite Real Estate Development has offered to purchase the empty lot on the northwest corner of 1st and Lake for the appraised value of $450,000. At an August 14, LLOC meeting, the retail development company presented a proposal in front of the Board to turn the site into space that would house Proviso Community Bank and several retail establishments. A representative for InSite said that national chains such as Starbucks and Subway have expressed interest in the location.
At the same meeting, Hugh Franklin, the senior executive vice president and community development officer for Proviso Community Bank, a charter of Hinsdale Bank and Trust, said that the bank would offer both consumer and commercial products, including micro-lending services (lending to organizations with less than $1 million) and a range of credit-improvement products. The bank would also be very “aggressive and active” in the nonprofit and municipal lending arena.
If the Board approves the proposal, the InSite representative said the developer would close on the property within 15 days of approval and Hinsdale Bank and Trust would open a temporary branch in Maywood while construction on the permanent location at 1st and Lake is underway. The currently abandoned Maywood Home for Soldiers’ Widows, which is listed as one of Illinois’s “Ten Most Endangered Historic Places,” would not be affected by the new construction.
After the presentations, Trustee Michael Rogers expressed concern that the proposed signage that would annex the new construction would block the vision of people driving at street level. A representative with the InSite group of experts said that a corridor study would be conducted to ensure that traffic sight lines would be unimpeded.
Trustee Audrey Jaycox hoped that the proposed architectural rendering for the banking and retail space could’ve been more modernized.
An official with InSite explained that the proposed architecture, which emulates the historic Prairie Style school of architecture dominant in the Village, reflects Hinsdale Bank’s conservatism.
“The bank is a little traditional in a values and that conservatism has made them strong today. We’ve gone in various communities, looked at landmarks in the Village and emulated them,” he said.
The Soldier’s Home, a prominent Prairie Style building in Maywood, served as a model for the design of the proposed bank and retail development. “We’re emulating the Soldier’s building. If something ever happened to [it], [the bank] would be a recollection. People in the Village would be reminded of that architectural history.”
If the Board accepts the proposal, InSite estimates that the bank and retail center could be open by September 2014. VFP