ATTEMPT TO SAVE GIESCHE SHOES BUILDING UNSUCCESSFUL, DEVELEOPER DOES NOT CONSENT TO LANDMARK DESIGNATION
On January 28, 2019, the Glen Ellyn Village Board passed Ordinances approving a Redevelopment Agreement and approving a Special Use Permit for a Preliminary Planned Unit Development (PUD) to redevelop the former Giesche Shoes building, which has been closed and vacant since late 2014, and the Village parking lot immediately to the north.
The Glen Ellyn Village Board granted Final PUD approval on April 8, 2019.
The proposed $40 million project features a mixed-use building including 8,844 square feet of first floor commercial space and 107 luxury apartment units on the second through fifth floors. Additionally, as part of the project, a two story parking garage will incorporate public parking on the first floor and residential parking on the second floor. Following construction of the public parking garage, at the developer’s expense, the public garage portion of the development will be owned and operated by the Village with no net loss of public parking.
On Thursday, July 18, 2019, the Historic Preservation Commission reviewed a Nomination Form submitted in May 2019 by Citizens for Glen Ellyn Preservation requesting a Preliminary Landmark Review. Public comment was heard and the Commission approved a Resolution finding that the building does meet the criteria for landmarking. However, the Village Code landmarking ordinance states that the owner consent is necessary for designation to move forward. In this case the owner and the developer, GSP Development, LLC did not consent to landmark status and intend to proceed with the approved project.
In addition, GSP has submitted the appropriate documents to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Historic Preservation Division. This agency reviews all demolition and redevelopment projects involving properties which may possess historic attributes worthy of preservation. After review of the materials submitted by GSP and conducting field work, the State Historic Preservation Office has granted permission to GSP to commence demolition of the Giesche Shoes building.
Earlier this week, the Plaintiff, Citizens for Glen Ellyn Preservation, filed an Emergency Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order. The Motion sought to enjoin the Village from transferring ownership of the parking lot to any third party, sought to stop the Village and/or GSP from issuing a demolition permit for the Giesche Shoes building and from beginning demolition until a hearing on a preliminary injunction could be conducted. Plaintiff’s argument was based primarily on the assertion that the Giesche Shoes building should be designated as a local landmark and preserved from demolition.
After reviewing the briefs submitted by the parties, on Friday, July 19, 2019, the Court heard oral arguments and determined that Plaintiff had failed to satisfy the elements needed to obtain a Temporary Restraining Order and denied the Motion. Consequently, the authorized demolition of the Giesche Shoes building will commence Wednesday July 24, 2019.
Source: Village of Glen Ellyn