Tag Archives: Berwyn Development Corporation

Next Stop: Depot District Redevelopment

By Melinda Czifrak

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Current commercial areas in the Depot District; Photo courtesy of the Berwyn Development Corporation

In the dreams of Berwyn’s planners, crowds fill the busy streets of the Depot District, with shoppers and retailers mingling inside quaint shops as others enjoy a meal in one of the area’s many restaurants. Outside, cars drive by, the final touch to an otherwise perfect picture of retail bliss.

The Depot District’s reality, however, looks a little bit different.

In recent years, the city of Berwyn has attempted to bolster its retail offerings and develop a destination dinning corridor. Continue reading

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Berwyn Development Corporation Gears Up for 2nd Annual Green Mile Pub Crawl

by Lauren Pinkston

The Green Mile Pub Crawl gives revelers a chance to get a jump on St. Patrick’s Day with a March 13 party along Berwyn’s Roosevelt Road.

Don’t expect too many marching bands, however.

Organizer John Aranza said it will highlight Roosevelt Road as a “destination point”.

“It’s not a typical St. Patrick’s day parade,” Aranza said, “It’s more to showcase the quality of businesses we have.”

Local businesses, such as Fitzgerald’s, Big Guys Sausage, Autre Monde, and others will host special music performances and food and drink specials for the evening.

And this year the organizers are going to showcase more musical acts, including the Band of Brothers Pipes and Drums.

“Band of Brothers is a group of retired firefighters from the Illinois area who play traditional music,” Aranza said. “They’ll be moving to different locations on Roosevelt to play bagpipes throughout the night.”

The Pub Crawl is set to kick off on Friday, March 13 at 5 p.m. and going to  11 p.m. Wristbands for the event costs $10 and include a shuttle service down Roosevelt Road as well as drink specials at participating venues.

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A pothole or a black hole?

Pothole

Bad winter weather has led to bad pavement conditions in Berwyn.

Outside the Beauty Marty on 7105/7107 Roosevelt Rd., in the Cappuccino Plaza, a large hole has formed.

“People complain all the time,” said John Cho, owner of Beauty Mart.

No one has come to fix the pothole, he said last week.

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Berwyn Attracts Same-Sex Couples

by Lisa Knych

Since the early 2000s, Berwyn has continued to become a more diversified community.

In reports from the 2000 to the 2010 Censuses, Berwyn has had a 41 percent increase in households reporting same-sex couples. It is also among the top five cities in the state with same-sex couples per 1,000 households, according to the Berwyn Development Corporation’s promotional web site, http://www.whyberwyn.com

Berwyn’s marketing campaign efforts have drawn these couples in throughout the years, according to BDC officials.  Amy Crowther, the BDC’s director of chamber services, said the “marketing campaign focuses its efforts with outdoor advertising in high traffic areas of Chicago. Other campaign tactics include radio, digital, social media and outreach.”

Third ward Alderman Margaret Paul remembers the initial drive.

“That campaign began in approximately 2007,” she said. “It was called the ‘Why Berwyn’ campaign and it focused on showing people in Chicago how conveniently located Berwyn was to Chicagoland points of interest.”

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Berwyn business is booming

Existing businesses are improving and new businesses are opening all across Berwyn. In August, Mayor Lovero said  business development would be something to keep an eye on in Berwyn, and he was right.

“There were approximately 50 businesses that opened in 2013,” said Business and Licensing Supervisor Anthony Perri. 

This success can be attributed to business assistance provided by Berwyn Development Corp. Total investment in TIF areas, including Roosevelt Road, Harlem and Cermak, Odgen Avenue and the Depot District, rose from $4,135,141.74 in 2007 to $8,330,957.23 in 2012, according to Development Executive Director Anthony Griffin.

“There is a comprehensive approach set by the city of Berwyn that allows business to start up and improve,” said Griffin.

Berwyn Development Corp. has a number of programs and services to help with improving commercial areas and stimulating business growth, including TIF financing, commercial loans, micoloans, site location assistance, and technical assistance. 

“There have been more restaurants opening, giving Berwyn a more diverse food culture,” said Berwyn resident Iridian Hernandez. “It’s also good that Berwyn has more places to shop, and hopefully that will attract more young people to the community.”

“We take great pride in helping existing business adapt to new trends and helping new businesses open,” said Griffin.

All of the projects completed in 2012 include Meijer, Big Guys Sausages, Wing Boss, The Vitamin Shoppe, Verizon, Play N Trade, Off the Traxx, Karasek Park, J.D. Byrider, Lou’s Pizza and Beef, Collision Centers of America, Start the Party, Capri Ristorante & Catering, Bounce Sportsplex, Reel Art, Riddles Comedy Club and Chipotle.

For updated information on current and completed projects, visit http://www.berwyn.net/economic-development.

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TIF Funds create new landscape in Berwyn

The interior of Tonini's Italian Market

Businesses and schools in Berwyn are getting the push they need thanks to Tax Increment Financing (TIF).  The government-appointed money has been helping the four TIF districts in Berwyn to fix run-down businesses, jump-start entirely new ones and help schools become more energy efficient.

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Berwyn hosts Roosevelt Road Zombie Walk & Crawl

Roosevelt Road will be a scene straight out of “Night of the Living Dead” on Oct. 30 for the first Roosevelt Road Zombie Walk & Bar Crawl.

Horrorbles, Berwyn’s one stop sci-fi horror shop will be converting Chicagoland residents into the real- life walking undead. In the spirit of the event, Horrorbles will be providing make up and costumes to participants staring from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Homescape Custom Builders & Designers and Citizens Community Bank on West Roosevelt Road.

The zombie walk will start at 7p.m. In true zombie fashion, participants will commute from bar to bar in silence. The bar crawl begins at 12th Street Rag, continues to Friendly Tap and then ends at FitzGerald’s Nightclub for a catered movie party accompanied with other “un-deadly fun.”

All zombies need to donate $10. All profits will go directly to 16th Street Theatre in Berwyn. The Roosevelt Road Zombie Walk & Bar Crawl is sponsored by The Roosevelt Road Business Association and The Berwyn Development Corporation in collaboration with Horrorbles.

For more information, check out “Roosevelt Road Zombie Walk & Pub Crawl” on Facebook or visit Horrorbles’ website at www.horrorbles.com.

 

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North East corner of Harlem and Cermak to see redevelopment

On Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010 at Berwyn’s Committee of the Whole Meeting, the council came to a unanimous decision to approve a proposal for redevelopment on the North East Corner of Harlem and Cermak.

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