Arts District in Midst of Major Makeover

Feature image of the Flexhouse project comes courtesy of @Properties

Harrison Street, the central hub of the Oak Park Arts District, will look different come spring 2018 with new and expanded retail concepts in addition to a townhome development called the Flexhouse.

Rahnquist Development Group and Campbell Coyle are the developers behind the Flexhouse project, four urban townhome-style units that are meant for live/work flexibility. Each unit will have 2,400 square feet of space “that is tuned to today’s buyer,” said Chris Dillon from Campbell Coyle.

The Flexhouse project sold out in approximately one month, while tenants and buyers are still being sought for the “bookend” buildings at 200 and 210 Harrison Street, according to Cameron Gearen from the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation (OPEDC).

MORA Asian Kitchen, a restaurant focused on modern tapas-style cuisine and sushi, will open its first Oak Park location this spring. MORA’s business hours will be 4 p.m. to close daily and include a Sunday brunch starting at 10 a.m. The restaurant has received plenty of positive reviews from its Bolingbrook and Plainfield locations, citing the variety of the menu and amiable atmosphere from the waitstaff.

District Kitchen & Tap will be another new tenant in the Arts District when they open at 222 Harrison Street. This 2,500 square foot restaurant is a product of Patrick O’Brien from the Scratch Kitchen group. The menu will feature plenty of beer and bar food such as nachos, wings, and artisan pizza. An official opening date has not yet been set but progress is being made.

Progress of the construction at District Kitchen & Tap, with all underground plumbing finished

In addition to the new restaurant concepts coming to the Arts District, existing retail tenants in the area plan to expand their brands.

Elizabeth Madden, the founder of Rare Bird Preserves, plans to relocate her business to 211 Harrison Street, creating a space that is part commercial kitchen and part retail shop (she is currently working out of temporary kitchen space on Chicago Avenue in Chicago), according to Gearen from the OPDEC.

“We have a strong, loyal customer base, who are excited for our new shop in Oak Park, ” said Madden. “We hope to bring many new people to the Oak Park Arts District from within the Oak Park community and surrounding suburbs, as well as Chicago fans and customers from all over the United States.”

Similarly, Crossfit Spero, owned by David Greene, is not new to the street but plans to move to a larger space. Greene says the new location will allow them to offer simultaneous classes for adults and children as well as programming with demands for larger equipment, according to Gearen.

Keep an eye out for all the changes coming to the Arts District. It might just be your new favorite place to hang out.

Feature image of the Flexhouse project comes courtesy of @Properties
Quotes come courtesy of Cameron Gearen from the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation.
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