Retail Subareas – US Route 34 & IL Route 71

Oswego has a wealth of retail space. The two retail subareas, Route 34, and Orchard Road, represent key retail centers in Oswego. IL Route 71 is another retail subarea that is important to the community. There is over 2.7 million square feet of retail in these corridors.

The Oswego retail vacancy rate dropped to 5.2 percent in the third quarter of 2014 from 11.6 percent in the first quarter of 2014. This is the first time the retail vacancy dropped close to 5 percent since late 2011, when Lowe’s closed. Hobby Lobby, which opened on October 6, 2014, took approximately half of the former Lowe’s building. The only big-box store that is currently vacant is the 65,000-square foot former Dominick’s building which has a long–term lease with Safeway, Inc.

Route 34. High traffic volumes have helped the Route 34 corridor to become a significant regional shopping destination. Commercial businesses including almost every national retailer in the region have located in the corridor, leading to thousands of retail square footage. Although mostly auto-oriented, the shopping centers have pedestrian amenities such as crossings, sidewalks, as well as smaller, interconnected parking areas, and landscaping.

Figure 6.1 US Route 34 Corridor Location

Figure 6.2 US Route 34 Corridor Land Use

Figure 6.3 US Route 34 Corridor Current Zoning

Figure 6.4 US Route 34 Corridor Transportation

Figure 6.5 IL Route 71 Corridor Location

Figure 6.6 IL Route 71 Corridor Analysis

US Route 34 is composed of three major shopping centers described below.

  • Oswego Commons is on the western edge of the Route 34 corridor. Oswego Commons consists of 187,656 square feet of retail space. It features Dominick's (currently vacant), Home Depot, Target, Party City, T.J. Maxx, and Office Max, along with restaurants such as Panera, Portillo's, and Chili's. Most of the space was built in 2006. Hobby Lobby opened in October 2014 taking approximately half of the vacant Lowe’s building.
  • Gerry Centennial Plaza consists of 60 acres at Route 34 and Douglas Road. Anchor tenants include Meijer (a combination discount department store and supermarket), Michael's, Bed Bath and Beyond, Old Navy, and Ross Dress for Less. Other retail includes specialty apparel chains and service businesses. The plaza’s outlots are occupied by businesses such as Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chick-Fil-A, Men’s Wearhouse, and a bank. The total center has approximately 375,000 square feet of space, with very little vacancy.
  • Prairie Market is located at Route 34 and 5th Street with nearly 720,000 square feet. Its anchors include a Wal-Mart supercenter (combining a discount department store with a full-line grocery), Kohl's, Dick's Sporting Goods, PetSmart, Ulta Cosmetics, Best Buy, and Aldi. Fast food and quick-casual restaurants such as Burger King, White Castle, Panda Express, Chipotle and sit-down establishments which include TGI Fridays, Famous Dave's, Olive Garden are located on pad sites.

In addition to these three major centers, the Route 34 corridor also has a mix of other smaller centers. Mason Square which is located on the north side of Route 34 is one of the corridor’s original centers. This plaza is 30 acres and includes a Culver’s, Pepe’s, Rosati’s Pizza, and Oswego Paint. Other commercial centers include the Farmington Lakes Office on the northeast corner of Douglas Road and Farmington Lakes Drive as well as the Ron Westphal Chevrolet dealership located on the corridor’s northern edge. The Village is committed to not only retaining the current national retailers within the Route 34 corridor, but also attracting high-end grocery stores, furniture stores, and a Costco.

Route 71 Corridor. The IL Route 71 Corridor encompasses several uses shown on Figure 6.6. The western portion of the corridor includes commercial uses such as Holmes Automotive Repair and First Place Rental. Moving east along the corridor, the character transitions from commercial to newer office developments with architecture that is designed to blend in with adjacent residential neighborhood. On the far eastern end of the corridor is a newer commercial plaza.