Karyn’s Inner Beauty grand opening 1-Martin_web
Business, Local News

Business update: Flossmoor prospects gain momentum in 2022

For the first time in several years, shoppers are finding Flossmoor business districts full of buying opportunities, a welcome sight during the holiday shopping season.

Both the downtown and Flossmoor Commons business districts have no unoccupied storefronts, indicating a renewed health for the local economy.

Karyn Calabrese, seen here beside Flossmoor Mayor Michelle Nelson at a ribbon cutting of Karyn’s Wellness Day Spa in April, is expanding her business to include Karyn’s Kitchen, a vegan restaurant that will be housed at the same address in Flossmoor Commons. (Chronicle file photo)

Village Manager Bridget Wachtel credits the resurgence to resourceful property owners, creative business owners and a community that strongly supports small businesses.

And there’s more to come. The village is working with developers on several projects that could proceed or be completed in coming weeks and months.

The next new business likely to open is actually an extension of a a wellness spa that opened in Flossmoor Commons in April, Karyn’s Inner Beauty at 3329 Vollmer Road. Owner Karyn Calabrese is close to opening Karyn’s Kitchen, a vegan-based restaurant at the same address. 

Wachtel said Calabrese is planning on a Dec. 1 soft opening with a grand opening to follow, although the date had not been set by the Chronicle’s print deadline.

The next construction project in the village will be west of Karyn’s on Vollmer. Rainbow Cone is planning to build a 2,200-square foot ice cream shop with drive thru and outdoor patio next to Buona Beef in the Meijer business complex.

Building and Zoning Administrator Scott Bugner said the project has been approved, but it looks like work probably will begin on the site at 19801 Crawford Ave. in the spring with opening in the summer.

The west end of Vollmer Road is one place the village still has space for new developments. The village owns nearly 30 acres of land there, acquired before the tax increment financing district expired in 2015, and there’s another nearly 20 acres owned by other entities.

Two projects are in preliminary stages on Governor’s Highway.

Wachtel said the project closest to breaking ground is the Oasis House of Refuge, a 14-bed hospice and palliative care facility that will be built on vacant land on the southwest corner of 198th Street and Governors Highway. 

The Flossmoor Board of Trustees voted to annex the land in July.

Nearby, on the east side of Governors Highway, is the prospective site of a new cannabis dispensary. The village laid the groundwork for dispensary development in late 2019, just before the state’s law allowing recreational cannabis went into effect.

The village only allows one dispensary to operate at any given time. 

If all goes well, the sole dispensary will be operated by CESAM. In September, village trustees authorized a memorandum of understanding with the company, allowing it two months to perform due diligence before making a formal proposal.

If the project moves forward, the dispensary would be developed on village-owned property at 19725 Governors Highway, the former Sunnycrest Greenhouse.

Another project on the village’s west side has not yet gotten traction. 

In January, the idiosyncratic home formerly owned by NBA player Ken Norman was demolished. Randy Pertler, representative of the owners, said the group was hoping to develop a multi-family residential development on the site across Kedzie Avenue from Homewood-Flossmoor High School.

Wachtel said Pertler has presented some preliminary plans, but the project has not moved forward. The village would have to annex the property before construction could begin. 

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