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Westlake Plaza in Wilmette to be Occupied by Jersey Mike’s and Urgent Care Center

Two latest tenants which might be coming to a West Wilmette shopping mall will make it 100% occupied, in keeping with Village staff, after trustees gave unanimous approval to the companies’ zoning requests on March 12.

Westlake Plaza, 3207 Lake Ave., is split into east and west sections which might be connected by an alley. The west side is accessible from Lake Avenue, while the east side has driveways on each Lake and Skokie Boulevard.

Jersey Mike’s sandwich shop and Lake Pointe Urgent Care got the go-ahead to occupy spaces within the east side of Westlake Plaza. Several storefronts— including Japanese to-go spot Ichi (west), healthy food shop Chia Leah (west), and Tex-Mex eatery Fajita Pete’s (east) — have entered the plaza prior to now yr.

While the trustees did not have any issues with the companies coming to Wilmette, Trustee Steve Leonard said he asked to tug each zoning requests from the consent agenda to debate parking.

The Village’s zoning code requires three parking spaces per 1,000 square feet. Leonard questioned if that requirement was sufficient for modern-day business needs and suggested that the Village reexamine its zoning laws regarding parking.

“I feel that the special use category should remain in place because I feel it has a purpose, but when we start those special conversations once more with a structure that we are able to all agree on, I feel it will be useful,” he said, also advocating for landlords to be a component of any discussions on any potential changes.

John Adler, the village’s director of community development, said that the parking requirements have been referred to Wilmette’s Land Use Commission, which he said can be discussing the difficulty at future meetings.

Some trustees also questioned if Westlake Plaza had enough parking spaces overall for each employees and shoppers.

In line with information presented by the Village, Westlake Plaza has a combined 50 parking spaces. Those include ADA-accessible spaces and time-limited zones and can include six reserved spaces for Lake Pointe Urgent Care’s patient parking.

Trustee Gina Kennedy said she’s personally witnessed delivery trucks blocking parking spaces and the driveway connecting east and west on the plaza, while Trustee Kate Gjaja supported encouraging walking and biking to the shopping mall.

“I comprehend it’s a tricky location, but there isn’t any encouragement of every other solution to get to this place apart from by automotive,” she said.

Representing Westlake Plaza’s owner, Ken Smallwood, with Mid-American Asset Management, said while they’ve never asked tenants specifically about parking issues, just one tenant has raised concerns.

“We recurrently communicate with our tenants about concerns basically, and it isn’t been brought up,” Smallwood said. “But we’ve not gone to every one in every of them and said, ‘We will add latest tenants. Is that an issue with you regarding parking?'”

Brendan Reedy, also with Mid-American Asset Management, said he shops at Westlake Plaza and has not personally experienced a parking issue.

“I can inform you there’s, yes, limited parking spaces, however the natures of the companies on this plaza are such they do turn over regularly,” he said.

Each Smallwood and Reedy agreed to work with tenants if parking becomes a difficulty and said they’ll encourage employees to park in spaces which might be typically not utilized by the general public, including an area positioned behind one in every of the buildings on the west side.

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