Residents offer ideas on former Sunstar site


Residents want the redevelopment of a 9.2-acre industrial site at 4635-67 W. Foster Ave. to be pedestrian friendly and to feature some businesses which are unique to the area.

That was the consensus of the 60 people who offered their opinions on the redevelopment of the site at the Feb. 1 meeting of the North Mayfair Improvement Association. "Not just a coffee store, but a locally owned coffee store," association president Jim O’Reilly said.

Several residents called for a development to be designed in a manner that allows shoppers to walk through the complex instead of having to drive from one place to another.

Other recommendations include a multi-purpose community center or an entertainment venue that would offer activities for people of all ages, an outdoor plaza, casual dining restaurants, a Trader Joe’s grocery store, a yoga studio and senior housing.

Several residents said that a stop light may be needed on Foster for vehicles entering and leaving the site.

O’Reilly said that the developer of the property, Chicago-based Jaffee Companies, has given no indication if the project would be retail, residential or mixed use but that one company official told him that "the intent is to make something that is representative of what the community wants."

Association vice president Lynn Burmeister said that association will present a summary of the recommendations made at the meeting to the developer and to Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th).

The site once was occupied by dental product manufacturer Sunstar Americas, which recently moved to Schaumburg. The former plant on Foster was demolished last year.

The east end of the site is adjacent to the planned Weber Spur bike trail. The trail, which is being built along a former railroad right of way, will start near Cicero and Sunnyside avenues and extend northeast into Lincolnwood.

Some residents suggested that the development include green space next to the trail and that a bike shop and a bicycle rental service would be appropriate for the site.