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Unique ‘groundbreaking’ points toward Flossmoor economic development

starbucks groundbreaking TAH 082917
Flossmoor village officials, along with developer
  Dan Abdo (fourth from right), Tuesday commemorated
  the start of the Starbucks and AT&T building project.
  (Photo by Tom Houlihan/H-F Chronicle)

There were hardhats and at least one shovel.

But it was hardly the usual groundbreaking ceremony.

Flossmoor elected officials and department heads Tuesday stood with Dan Abdo, the developer of the Starbucks and AT&T outlets that are being built at the village’s Meijer complex.

Work has been underway for two weeks and the south and west walls of the new building ― on Vollmer Road just east of Crawford ― are nearly built. Everyone present posed for photos in front of the south wall.

Some heavy equipment was digging on the south end of the project. But that represented the only ground that was truly broken on a bright, sunny day.

Still, there was a celebratory mood as Mayor Paul Braun and other village officials pointed to progress ― and economic development ― in Flossmoor.

“This will bring people in,” said Abdo, of Chicago-based Glazier Corporation. More developers will be interested in Flossmoor when a well-known company like Starbucks opens in such a visible spot, he said.

Braun called the Starbucks and AT&T project “the next stage of development in Flossmoor.”

“First we had Meijer,” Braun said. “Next we are getting Starbucks and AT&T and Buona Beef.”

After that, village-owned parcels to the east on Vollmer Road will be developed, he said.

Abdo said he expects the construction of the Starburcks and AT&T building to be completed by November. Starbucks would like to open in December, he said.

Starbucks will be located in a 1,900-square-foot space on the west end of the building. AT&T, with more than 1,700 square feet, will be on the east end. There will also be two interior spaces. Abdo said a prospective tenant is close to agreeing on one of those spaces.

The building is being constructed on one of five outlets owned by Meijer. Work has also begun on a Buona Beef restaurant, to be built just north of the existing BP gas station.

Flossmoor owns most of the land along Vollmer between the Meijer complex and Central Park Avenue. The village plans to develop the land for commercial use.

Braun said the village has been working with Cook County to acquire three tax-delinquent parcels, including the property at the corner of Vollmer and Central Park. He told the H-F Chronicle that he expects the county board to approve Flossmoor’s request for the property under the No Cash Bid Program, an economic development tool designed to help municipalities obtain properties for redevelopment and return those properties to active use.

County board approval could take place in the next two months. Following that action, Flossmoor would be able to acquire ownership of the three parcels.

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