The Cambridge Commons shopping center has nearly emptied in recent weeks, as its owner prepares to redevelop it with a grocery store as the new anchor.
Vacant storefronts remain where Pho U, Chaihanna, Cambridge Cleaners and Tailors, and other businesses once operated.
Cash for Gold is the only Cambridge Commons business that has applied with the village to relocate, said Village Manager Dane Bragg. The operation has moved to 80 W. Dundee Road.
A sign in Pho U’s window tells customers that the restaurant closed Sept. 30 and that it will post on Yelp “if we open at another location.” At Chaihanna, a sign instructs people to watch its Facebook page "for any future updates.”
Currently, only Rogan’s Shoes, Little Caesar’s and Illinois Dental Center remain open. The former Alan Optical site has been empty since the business moved to the Village Plaza shopping center in 2008. A battered Cook County eviction notice is posted in the window at Zodiak Salon and Spa.
Nick Vittore, who owns the shopping center, presented redevelopment plans to the village in August. He plans to renovate the shopping center by bringing Fresh Farms to the 30,000-square-foot anchor spot. Rogan’s Shoes, along with one other business, will occupy two smaller spaces on the building’s west side. He said he planned to buy out the remaining leases.
Related: Cambridge Commons Redevelopment Plans Include New Grocery Store
Bragg said during that meeting that the Fresh Farms-supported center could generate ten times the annual sales currently brought in by Cambridge Commons.
The redevelopment plans, which include a brick façade similar to the Fresh Farms-anchored shopping center in Wheeling, will be reviewed by the architectural commission, Bragg said. Signage could also be reviewed by the zoning board of appeals, he said.
Though the center is expected to generate significantly more sales, Bragg said there are no immediate concerns regarding increased traffic at Dundee and Buffalo Grove roads.
“It operated as a grocery store before,” he said.
Dominick’s, which previously occupied the Rogan’s Shoes space, still holds the lease, Bragg said, and the company has been subletting to the shoe store. The lease is about to expire, he said, and Rogan’s will soon relocate to a smaller space in Cambridge Commons.