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Is Fresh Farms Still Coming to Buffalo Grove?

There's been no movement on the Cambridge Commons redevelopment plans since they were approved in July.

When Buffalo Grove signed off on the last details of the Cambridge Commons improvement plans, its developer said the company was ready to begin construction.

“As soon as we get permits, we’re ready to get started there,” Nick Vittore said. 

That was mid-July. Since then, there’s been no noticeable activity on the site of the mostly vacated shopping center, which remains home to Little Caesar’s and Illinois Dental Center. 

Permits for the façade and demolition plans have been ready for pick-up at Village Hall since Sept. 19, Village Manager Dane Bragg said.

“We have been in communication with Svigos Asset Management since the permits were approved for publishing. I don’t have any indication if they plan to move forward with the project, or not,” Bragg wrote in an email to Patch.

Svigos Asset Management owns and manages the Cambridge Commons shopping center, which sits at the southeast corner of Dundee and Buffalo Grove roads.

Vittore, Svigos’s vice president who represented the project in Buffalo Grove, has not responded to phone calls from Patch or an email sent to his office.

The redevelopment was first proposed to the Buffalo Grove Village Board during the summer of 2012. Over the next year, village officials worked with Svigos to create an economic incentive agreement that would help fund the project and finalize exterior plans, including signage and the height of a new façade.

Vittore said then that his plan was to convert the shopping center from “somewhat of an eyesore” to a development similar to the Fresh Farms-anchored plaza at the southwest corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Dundee Road in Wheeling.

Trustees later approved an economic incentive plan that would return up to $1.1 million to Svigos.

That money was earmarked for façade improvements, Vittore said earlier this year. “We need to have a freshened up shopping center to attract new tenants,” he said. 

Vittore said over the summer that Fresh Farms had been secured as the anchor tenant. Fresh Farms did not respond Friday to a request for comment that Patch submitted through its website.

The anchor space was occupied by Rogan’s Shoes from 2005 until earlier this year, when the store relocated to the Strathmore Square shopping center. 

Before Rogan’s, the space held Dominick’s until 2001, when the grocery store moved across the street to The Plaza shopping center. That store, along with all other Chicago-area Dominick’s stores, is closing this month.

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Ann Soutter December 09, 2013 at 07:33 AM
Maybe they will move across the street, into Dominicks
Diane Johnson December 09, 2013 at 10:04 AM
Ann, I am with you easier to get in and out of
Donna M. December 09, 2013 at 10:17 AM
Moving into Dominicks would also require less renovating. It would be basically move-in ready.
Pete Speer December 09, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Fresh Farms moving to the Plaza Shopping Center, if it would ever occur does nothing for Cambridge Commons. I earlier asked whether there had been an actual lease with Fresh Farms as opposed to a wiggly Letter of Intent. The lack of activity makes it appear not. I also discussed the tax economics in moving into a Cook County shopping center. Mariano's in Lake County has a tax advantage. I would suggest that if Fresh Farms moved into Buffalo Grove, that the Dominick's on the Lake County side of Lake Cook Road would be preferred. In the meantime, whatever happened to the excellent, inexpensive Pho U Noodle restaurant which was edged out by the Strathmore game of musical stores?
Yvonne Kristiansen December 14, 2013 at 09:54 AM
Come on people, face it…..it's Buffalo Grove. It's going to end up becoming a bank.
AK December 15, 2013 at 12:45 PM
My take their Dundee/Milwaukee corner store in Wheeling (which is less than 3 miles away from proposed Buffalo Grove) is not performing as well as they expected and they are overpricing just enough to lose traffic. Maybe they were dreaming too much, maybe they lost their sense or maybe they never had one. Large number of their Wheeling store customers already live in Buffalo Grove. Highland Park's just south of Clavey on the east side of Skokie Valley would be a great choice for the perfectly sized 25,000 SF store.
Donna M. December 15, 2013 at 05:01 PM
AK, you are confusing Fresh Farms with Garden Fresh. Garden Fresh has a store in Highland Park, Mundeline, Wheeling (on Hintz) and a few other locations. Fresh Farms has 3 locations Wheeling, Niles and Chicago. Whenever I've been in Fresh Farms they have been busy. I like the store find the prices extremely reasonable, especially produce. What i really like about the store is the variety. Unlike many other store they offer organic produce and free range/grass fed meats. they also have a fish department that is unsurpassed in the area. Oh, and the deli is huge and much cheaper than Jewel or Dominicks.
Donna M. December 15, 2013 at 05:02 PM
It was very sad in Dominicks Saturday, with the shelves virtually bare.
AK December 15, 2013 at 11:06 PM
Sorry, but I am not confusing anything . Fresh Farms currently has locations on Touhy in Niles, Milwaukee/Dundee corner in Wheeling and just has got the former Jewel space on Golf east of Milwaukee in Niles. Devon store carries the same name but is is owned by someone else. Garden Fresh doesn't have location in Highland Park like you think, but it has one in nearby Northbrook on the same Skokie Valley, but in the different mall. There is one more "Fresh" - it is Harvest Fresh in Arlington Heights on Rand/Arlington Hts Rd and it is owned by the former Fresh Farms store manager. Quite a glut of similar stores in the same areas and my take Garden Fresh is the weakest of them and that is why I suggested Fresh Farms on Clavey/Skokie Valley in the vacant part of the mall, which is in Highland Park. Quite honestly, the choice of Buffalo grove Fresh Farms location is very poor as they have another brand new store less than 3 miles east on Dundee.
Donna M. December 17, 2013 at 08:48 PM
My mistake about Garden Fresh is on the Northbrook side of Lake Cook Road. Putting a Fresh Farms across Lake Cook on the Highland Park side doesn't seem like a good move to me. What would you, AK, propose for either of the spaces at the Buffalo Grove Dundee corner?
AK December 21, 2013 at 08:41 AM
It appears Mariano's "agreed" to open the next store on the corner of Dundee & Skokie Valley in east part of Northbrook. So, Garden Fresh, Trader Joe's and Mariano's almost next to each other. Still, if Fresh Farms wants another store Clavey/Skokie Valley is a better choice than Buffalo Grove/Dundee, but it is totally up to them. I will think on your question some more, but I would rather see the bunch of the smaller stores that cater to the neighborhood needs.
Donna M. December 21, 2013 at 09:20 AM
Garden Fresh has started the paper work to take over the Dundee/Buffalo Grove Dominick's, I think it will be a good move for them.
Pete Speer December 21, 2013 at 10:51 AM
The big differences between thw GF in Wheeling and the Dominicks Dundee/BG Road are 1. Size; 2. Possibility of a liquor license; 3. Parking; 4. the traffic generated by other stores in the BG center. The same could have been said regarding the former shoe store site, but they wanted too much help and everything was delayed, delayed, delayed. The GF huge store in AH at south east corner of Rand and Palatine was a mistake for them. They were competing with Jewel and with Dominick and they could not generate enough sales per sq.ft.. Safeway had this figured out when they bought Dominicks. There was a store which was the Ultra Type, 100K sq.ft. as well as the Dominick south of Palatine between Rand and AH Road. Their choice was to close the larger one and keep the AH one. They continued to pay the rent amd would nnot allow any new grocery store to come in to their space. The lease has ended and a new store is coming in.
AK December 21, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Wheeling GF is is kinda weak and its been this way for a long time. Not as weak as those two huge GF on Rand in AH and Mount Prospect. Those stores were Cub Foods and GF leased them all after Supervalue bought Albertson and had to get rid of them. And it happened to be not that bright move by GF management. We used to be a vendor for most GF stores, Fresh Farms, Shop n Save, few others... and GF never impressed. IMO, the only store that could make it on SE corner of Buffalo Gr/Dundee would be Jerry's. BTW, Joe and his partners were looking at this area several years ago. Could be little late for them, hard to say.

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