My First 100 Days
As I approach my 100th day as Mayor on August 9, I wanted to give you an update on some of the great things happening across town. We're off to a great start, and I'm really looking forward to the months and years ahead. I'm honored to serve and couldn't be more excited about Tinley Park's bright future!
Downtown Tinley is alive with activity, as evidenced by the Boulevard at Central Station immediately south of the train station. It seems like just yesterday when we broke ground, but people are starting to move in. Slightly north of that is the Banging Gavel Brewery (in the historic Vogt building at Oak Park Avenue and Hickory Street), which has opened an outdoor beer garden for the season as they continue work on the upcoming brewery and restaurant. Further north is the Scoop, a new ice cream parlor that just opened, and coming soon is Avocado Theory, a fresh, new concept that will serve various avocado-based foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Construction on the shopping center on the east side of Harlem Avenue, south of 159th Street, is progressing nicely. The site is being renovated to include space for Burlington to move there, and a new grocer is soon to be announced. Floor and Decor is opening a brand-new store in the area that Burlington is moving from, next to Hobby Lobby on 159th Street.
Across the street, on the west side of Harlem, Pete's Fresh Market is constructing a 170,000-square-foot warehouse in the old Super K-mart building and plans to open an 80,000 square-foot grocery store shortly after that.
All of these developments join the array of excellent new restaurants that recently opened. This includes Bandana’s Barbeque, Do-Rite Donuts and Chicken (inside the new Lenny’s Gas N Wash on 183rd Street), Fry the Coop, SIP Wine Bar, Union Bar and Grill and North and Maple Kitchen and Bar (formerly Side Street Tavern).
You’ve probably seen the giant Amazon warehouse at Vollmer and Harlem in Matteson. On the north side of Vollmer, plans are moving forward for a 110-acre development with three industrial buildings within Tinley Park's boundary.
Adjacent to the convention center is the brand-new EVEN Hotel, a re-branding of the former Holiday Inn. This EVEN Hotel is the first of its kind in Illinois and is a great brand that will only add to Tinley Park’s allure! They also remodeled the restaurant inside the hotel, and it will now be known as Local One.
As for Harmony Square, our downtown gathering area that will be programmed all year with events, the Village is in the process of acquiring the final parcel of property required to proceed with construction. Unfortunately, court proceedings have been delayed due to COVID-19, but I'm hopeful we'll be back on track in no time.
The Village Board approved a jurisdictional transfer with Will County for the portion of 80th Avenue between 191st and 183rd streets. The transfer is part of an agreement that saw Will County donate $5.9 million to help fund the Village’s portion of the 80th Avenue widening project.
Construction on 175th Street, east of Oak Park Avenue, is also on track. The Cook County Highway Department is working on construction easements with residents, and the project is expected to bid in spring 2022.
As you’ve probably heard, we’ve been putting pressure on the State to clean up and sell the 280-acre Tinley Park Mental Health Center property at 183rd Street and Harlem Avenue. Unfortunately, the State let it fall into disrepair since the center closed for good in 2012. Right now, it’s a mess of asbestos, black mold, rusty equipment, collapsed structures, broken windows, graffitied walls, overgrown foliage and other countless code violations. I think we’re all very frustrated by the lack of action by the State, but we’ll keep working on getting it cleaned and developed in a way that will benefit Tinley Park.
As you may have heard, the Village has withdrawn from the Chicago Southland Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. We decided that the portion of our hotel accommodations tax we were paying to them was better spent supporting a Tinley Park-specific tourism marketing plan and building out our "Life Amplified" brand. The Marketing Department will now take on those same tourism responsibilities, which will help us better promote Tinley Park and all its assets.
It's been an incredible 100 days. Here’s to the next hundred!