Grosvenor Americas, owner of the 250,000 square foot Rice Lake Square shopping center in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton, IL, has begun work on building and site plan improvements that will significantly enhance the shopping experience at the property.
The impressive refurbishment will add architectural interest with towers topped by large lantern-like LED lighting elements and a redesign of most of the anchor store facades. Large brick columns that currently block tenant storefronts will be replaced with smaller decorative steel posts, and a comprehensive lighting renovation will add under-canopy decorative lighting, roof lighting, and additional pole lighting.
The center’s internal roads and parking areas will be modified to improve customer access and egress. A new drive aisle will lead directly to the front of the anchor spaces,
which will allow the parking area in front of PetSmart to be enlarged. Incoming traffic will be separated into separate turn lanes to relieve congestion and confusion at the current T-shaped intersection just off Butterfield Road.
Shop space at the back of the center will benefit from 22 new parking stalls directly in front of the rear shop spaces as well as a new pedestrian plaza. An existing large pedestrian plaza in front of PetSmart, which is rarely used, will be converted into parking space. All work is anticipated to be completed in the fall of 2011.
“We are extremely excited to enhance both the customer experience and the environment in which our tenants operate at Rice Lake Square,” said Tom Ohlson, Senior Vice President, Grosvenor Americas.
Grosvenor Americas acquired the Whole Foods-anchored Rice Lake Square, about 25 miles west of downtown Chicago near the intersection of I-88 and I-355, in 2004. The well-established center is leased to a variety of tenants including PetSmart, Stein Mart, Panera Bread, and several restaurants, in addition to the popular Whole Foods grocery.
Rice Lake Square is one of four retail properties with a total of over 578,000 square feet of space owned by Grosvenor Americas in the Chicago metropolitan area. The other properties are 701 and 830 North Michigan Avenue on the Magnificent Mile and Church Street Plaza in Evanston. Five prestigious tenants are located at 830 North Michigan Avenue: Topshop, Columbia Sportswear, Filene’s Basement, Borders, and Ghirardelli Chocolates.
Rice Lake Square, originally developed in 1989, is located on the north side of Butterfield Road (State Road 56) just east of Naperville Road in DuPage County. It serves the communities of Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, and Naperville. Over 100,000 people live within a ten-minute drive of the center. DuPage County, home to the 112-year-old Chicago Golf Club, is the most affluent county in Chicagoland and one of the wealthiest in the U.S. The center is managed by Mid-America Asset Management, Inc.
Grosvenor Americas is Grosvenor’s North American operating company active in seven metropolitan areas in Canada and the United States. Its real estate investment and development activities span retail, residential, office, hotel and industrial property types.