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GLENVIEW, IL-In these sluggish times, when retailers face contraction or closure, a handful of new retail developments are still going ahead. The Von Maur department store chain has finalized a deal to build a store at the Glen, the 1,100-acre, master-planned, mixed-use redevelopment of the former Glenview Naval Air Station.

“We have been working with Von Maur for quite some time,” says Dene Oliver, CEO of San Diego-based OliverMcMillan. “We have had a preliminary agreement in effect since December 2000.” OliverMcMillan is developing the Glen’s retail and entertainment district in partnership with the Village of Glenview.

Construction of the 160,000-sf store will begin in spring 2002 and completed in time for the Christmas 2003 shopping season. Von Maur’s emphasis is “upmarket” clothes while offering amenities such as free shipping and a zero-interest credit card. The Davenport, IA-based company currently operates 17 other stores, including one in Lombard and one in St. Charles, both western suburbs of Chicago.

“Von Maur coming in adds punch to the retail side of that development,” Leslie Mader, a retail specialist at Chicago-based Northern Realty Group, tells GlobeSt.com. “Everyone was waiting for something big to be signed there and this is it. I know that some of my clients are now more excited about the prospects of coming into the Glen.”

Even if the economy doesn’t recover by fall 2003, Von Maur has a built-in customer base in the residential development at the Glen, which is now under way and will be substantially complete by then. The Glen is devoting 232 acres to 699 single-family houses, with Concord Homes, Kimball Hill Homes, Edward R. James Partners and Cambridge Homes all in various stages of construction. Some 43 acres are allocated to multifamily. Kimball Hill, OliverMcMillan, Edward R. James and Cambridge are in different phases of construction of 530 multifamily units.

The Glen also promises to be a destination in its own right. A total of 403 acres is being devoted to sports, leisure and open space. The 18-hole Kemper Sports Management Championship Golf Course already is open, as is a nine-hole Glenview Park District course. Also completed is the $24-million Glenview Park District’s Park Center. The crown jewel of the Glen rec space is the 142-acre Gallery park, which features the 45-acre Lake Glenview, boardwalk, amphitheater, playgrounds, gardens, fountains, athletic fields and six miles of walking and biking paths.

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