Randhurst Mall Before 1960

by William Holderfield

By 1955 Mt. Prospect was looking for a way to allow for the continued increase in the size of the village, both in population and in land area.  At the same time a major concern was the continued funding and additional needs of the growing village for such things as a police force, schools, and proper water resources to provide for the anticipate population growth.  The village understood that many of these concerns and the interest in growth required not only land but a strong tax base.  The fear was that levying property taxes would not only keep new residents from moving to the village, but that it could cause residents to move to other towns.  Part of the plan of the village was to increase the tax base through sales tax, which was viewed as a much more acceptable means of tax collection with small amounts of tax being collected through purchases.  It also allowed collection from business as well, which helped alleviate the burden from shoppers or the residents of Mt. Prospect.  The village saw that residents of Mt. Prospect were traveling in larger numbers to neighboring towns for their purchasing needs, which began to not only reduce sales tax collected but it also began to have a negative effect on local business in the village.  The village was aware of a movement in many other parts of the country to build localized shopping areas, where people could come and purchase any good they wanted in one central location.  The new mode of economic growth was through a mall.  Mt. Prospect viewed the prospect of bringing a large department store or a number of other stores to a central location, expected to be downtown Mt. Prospect, as a necessity to the financial needs of the village.

During a village meeting in 1955 the village board made its first movement towards clearing a way for a centralized shopping center.  The mall era was to be altered and advanced by leaps and bounds at the board’s approval to open land to be used for commercialization.[1]  Up to this point the idea of a mall, or at this meeting the “shopping center”, was to be an area of land where multiple stores existed in one centralized location, but that the only way to get from one store to the other was to walk along walkways in the open air.[2]  Old Orchard Shopping Center would open in 1956 in Skokie, which was considered the first modern-day “mall”, but it was created as an open-air shopping center.  Coincidentally the largest open-air shopping center would be opened in 1962 in Oak Brook, and Oakbrook Shopping Center was also designed in this traditional style.  Shopping centers were able to be built on large scales, and on large pieces of land, that was not wanted for residential development or was on the outskirts of a village.  This typically required the land to be annexed by the village at some point to bring the sales tax revenue to the village.  The unfavorable land was typically near major roadways that were unwanted in backyards of residents, but was a lifeline for shopping malls looking for shoppers.  The land that was on the outskirts of the village typically was dirt roads or narrow paved streets, which did not allow for a lot of traffic.  As lands were annexed the roadways had to be accounted for, especially in regards to who would be responsible for paving, upkeep, or expansion depending on the situation and need.

In a 1956 village board meeting for Mt. Prospect, the Village President, Theodore A. Lams, read a letter sent by William J. Mortimer, Superintendent of Highways in Cook County, regarding the “Shopping Center Regulations”.[3]  In August of 1956 the Board of County Commissioners passed a new resolution on shopping center regulations, which only pertained to unincorporated areas that would have shopping centers built on them, but Mortimer requested that the Village of Mt. Prospect submit notification to the Board when construction permits were under consideration in order to coordinate efforts of controlling traffic.  Since the county was responsible for the roads that ran through unincorporated areas, which would also run through the incorporated portions of nearby villages such as Mt. Prospect, efforts had to be made by all parties to keep traffic control under close watch, as the creation of a shopping center would increase traffic congestion.

As federal legislation allowed for the improvement and increase in roadways as a matter of national safety through the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, or commonly the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956, the county began to review the way they handled roadways under their control.[4]  The “Shopping Center Regulations” is important for the fact that it gave a name to the area allotted for this type of commerce and building, it was an important enough idea that the county had to create regulations in 1956, and the county recognized that it would grow within its boundaries.  As there was no mention of correspondence between the Village of Mt. Prospect and Cook County in prior meetings it is unclear as to how the county found out about the interests of Mt. Prospect.  It is fair to say that the village probably contacted the county about annexation and road development for the purpose of the development of a shopping center prior to this letter.

In 1957 the village board meetings would include discussions of new Zoning Commission recommendations based on the Kincaid Report.[5]  The commission recommended that based on this report that there is a definite need for commercial zoned property for creating shopping space for Mt. Prospect.  The commission would go on to argue that their position was backed by recent articles in the Chicago Tribune, which criticized the village for not providing enough shopping options for residents.  The Kincaid Report would be a major stepping stone for the village, as not only did they take the initiative to have someone compile a report on the impact of a shopping center, but the fact that a major newspaper was writing on the need for added shopping options for residents really showed that the idea was becoming a larger idea, and was definitely a growing necessity.  Another interesting point was that for the village to even have a report on the economic impact of a shopping center on the village signifies that the village was unsure whether such a project was as important, necessary, or financially sound as it appeared to be.  The resounding answer was that a shopping center was exactly what the village was looking for in regards to an increase in the village tax revenue.

During the village board meeting of December 10, 1957 the Kincaid Report was brought up again, this time it was President Lam that spoke on the need for a shopping center.  President Lam proposed Ordinance 587 in order to adopt a plan that would create the district available for business development, bringing the creation of a shopping center into the official plan of the village.  At this same meeting the representative of the Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Ackerman, stated that this proposed business district plan was necessary in order to keep revenue from sales tax from bleeding over into nearby towns that were drawing residents of Mt. Prospect to their businesses.  Ackerman also made the claim that a centralized business district would help with the sprawl that could result from unregulated business areas.

Not everyone was in favor of this new mall, Clement Ward, an attorney representing citizens opposing the business plan, claimed that the proposal was a redevelopment plan for the village that went against Illinois Statute and thus was not legal.  Ward further stated that the plan should conform to the original village plan.  G. Mokate, secretary of the Northwest Home Owner’s League, refuted the argument of Ward, stating that 75% of the citizens of Mt. Prospect had no idea what the Kincaid Report said.[6]  James Hickey, a resident, asked for the definition of a department store from Trustee Willer, which shows that the idea of a department store, mall, and shopping center had a difference in meaning than it does today, while at the same time these ideas were still new for the locals of Mt. Prospect.

The meeting discussion continued over the proposal of adding a shopping center, and what factors could limit land owners from doing what they wanted with their property.  This single meeting marked what direction the village would go for the future and what shape the village would take as a result of its outcome.  It also shows that the village was interested in creating a shopping center for the residents, but that the residents were unfamiliar with the scale on which the village was planning.  It also suggested that there were potential limitations or restrictions of land use, this shows the idea of suburbanization of America and its compartmentalized structure.

As the meeting of December 10, 1957 continued, those in attendance would hear portions of the Kincaid Report read aloud.  Trustee Airey would read two very important paragraphs from the Kincaid Report Economic Factors for Planning:

“In view of the facts set out in the foregoing paragraphs, it seems quite apparent that the principal cause of the low sales volume of Mt. Prospect’s retail and service establishments is that there is an insufficient total number of outlets properly distributed among the various business categories, especially in the general merchandise group of establishments which usually are the principal magnets in attracting persons to downtown areas.

It would be unrealistic and economically unsound for Mt. Prospect to attempt to compete with the several centers located in or near the northwestern suburban tentacle by establishing a regional shopping center within its own corporate limits.  The retail and service trade area of the Village is bound to remain more or less coextensive with its boundaries plus the population settlements in close-in areas.  The business community should concern itself mainly with fully exploiting the village market, the accomplishment of which will greatly increase the total volume of sales.”

Frank Lynn, a resident of Mt. Prospect, would point out two issues that limited the development of the village, parking and the fact that the Northwestern Railroad ran directly through the village, splitting it in two.  Trustee Willer would address the parking situation as an issue to development, which would hinder a shopping center, due to the inability of the village to levy enough bonds to cover such a project for parking spaces numbering the recommended amount by the Kincaid Report.  Hickety, a resident of Mt. Prospect, claimed that Mt. Prospect was an “impulse purchase area”, due to the fact that, as Mokate, Secretary of the Northwest Homeowner’s League, pointed out, residents of Mt. Prospect only spent $1,100 annually in Mt. Prospect on purchases, while $6,000 to $7,000 was spent in surrounding areas.  Trustee Schlaver would report on documentation that stated Des Plaines collected sales taxes in the amount of nearly $15,000 per month, while Mt. Prospect could expect around $4,400.  However, Ackerman, the spokesman for the Chamber of Commerce for this meeting, would point out that the shopping potential was not limited to the residents of Mt. Prospect, but the potential for the number of shoppers could dramatically increase with visitors from the periphery venturing to Mt. Prospect for their shopping needs, as Mt. Prospect residents currently ventured to surrounding areas for their purchases.[7]  For the first time it seemed as if the village board was grasping the purpose of creating a shopping center for the village.

On May 13, 1958, the board discussed a new shopping center project, the Mt. Prospect Plaza.[8]  Many residents appeared to be apprehensive about these projects and were afraid to move forward.

Despite its realizations, the village does question the Kincaid Report for the first time, not about the need for a shopping center, but over the location.  The question of annexation of additional lands on which to build the shopping center are raised at this meeting, with land south of Golf Road, Route 58, being brought into question.  The village fears annexation, especially south of Golf Road, as historically the village felt that such acquisition would result in various complications and additional problems for the village.  The village was also aware of the residents and businesses of Mt. Prospect being largely opposed to the annexation of such land.  The board realized however that the business owners were opposed as a result of the perception of growing competition from the additional businesses in the village.  The residents’ opposition was not completely ignored by the board; however the board realized that if the annexation was to be taken into action that it would be done so for the benefit of the village as a whole.  In order to get around the residents’ fears and ease further complaints, the board decided to outline the zoning of the proposed annexation.  It was determined, as in 1955, that the land would be zoned with single family residents just south of Golf Road.  Then a buffer zone would be created with multi-family housing, followed by the new shopping center.  By rezoning there would be a split between residential families’ homeownership and the new shopping center.  At the same time the new families moving into the newly built homes would do so with the understanding that there would be a shopping center built close by.  Hopefully this would negate any complaints over such a project and residents.  This would mark the second time that the board saw a need for a split between residential living and business/retail spaces, which is a major characteristic of suburban sprawl, making the concessions by the board a necessary and important one in the growth of Mt. Prospect as truly suburban.

August 19, 1958 saw the board discuss Carson Pirie Scott.  A petition was read by Trustee Willer over the annexation and rezoning of land on which Carson Pirie Scott & Company was expected to build a shopping center.  The land would total an amount of 80 acres, with the borders of Elmhurst Road, Foundry Road, and Euclid Avenue.  Willer would motion to pass the petition.[9]  Frank Lynn opposed shopping center development after rezoning of a 67 acre piece of land at Central and Rand Road, which would become the location of a shopping center proposal by developer Dan Serafine.   This shopping center proposal was rejected at this meeting; however it would be the start of a very lengthy debate over the next few years between Serafine and the board.  This meeting marked the first time that Carson Pirie Scott would look at building a shopping center in Mt. Prospect.  Little would anyone realize that this petition would mark the start of a mall revolution and lead to the building of the biggest regional enclosed mall, the largest air-conditioned space in the nation, and most modern mall to date, Randhurst Mall.

On September 23, 1958, Donald Willis of the Northeast Homeowners Association asked why only one of the two proposed shopping centers could be decided upon at a time, with the board responding by pointing to submission guidelines requiring such.  Dan Serafine would remark that his plan to move forward on building a shopping center at Central and Rand Road, “We do plan to build this shopping center regardless of what other shopping centers will pop up in the village.”[10]  While not a very interesting date in the development of shopping centers per se, the fact remained that the shopping center craze had been born and was well underway by as early as 1958, especially in Mt. Prospect, and the village understood the value of this new “fad” of one stop shopping for its residents.  In addition, the importance of sales tax revenue through the development of shopping centers is something of interest, as Mt. Prospect seemed to move from a position of apprehension over building a shopping center to have multiple centers under consideration within a three year span.

On October 14, less than a month after Serafine’s statement, the village adopted a village ordinance proposed on September 23, allowing for the improvement and/or creation of sidewalks which would help improve traffic and public access to the shopping centers as outlined previously by Cook County.[11]  The Serafine shopping center Proposed Ordinance 632 for annexation of the land at Central and Rand Roads was read and although there were a number of “Ayes” for the annexation, President Lam vetoed the motion and stated that his reasons would be forthcoming at the next board meeting.[12]  Shortly after the president’s veto on the annexation of land for the Serafine shopping center, a letter was read from the Zoning Board of Appeals, which allowed the land for the Carson property to be rezoned, making way for the future site of Randhurst Mall to begin planning.[13]  Willer would request a letter from the Village Attorney claiming the development would be contiguous with the village.  Willer, and the village board, motioned for the owners of the property to submit to the Village Attorney evidence of covenant for the land or similar documentation.  The board agreed to the annexation of the land for the Carson property on the condition at the development would take place for the purpose of a shopping center within a three year period.[14]  This move made the development of the property and a shopping center in Mt. Prospect a pressing need.  The Trustees Broad and Norris asked for Lam to state his reasons for veto on the Serafine property before passing the Carson property annexation.  Despite Norris and Broad voting “nay” to the motion of passing the Carson ordinance, the annexation passed as a result of “ayes” from Lam, Trustee Airey, Trustee Casterline, Trustee Schlaver, and Trustee Willer.  The Carson property was thrown into further turmoil at this meeting as Henry Vallely, attorney for the George Popp Estate, “which included Gunnell’s Bowling Alley and the El Rando Tavern, located at Rte. 83 and Rand Road”, stated that he would contact the States Attorney over the annexation of the Carson property as it was not contiguous to the village due to the estate being between said 80 acres and the village.  However, the Vice President of Carson’s, Harold Spurway, was present at the meeting and claimed legal action would be forthcoming in defending the property as contiguous in court if needed in response to Vallely’s statement.  As tensions mounted, it seemed that Carson’s was becoming more and more interested in pushing to get this project underway.  Lam also saw a growing need to get this project underway, as a desire to increase the amount of shopping options for the residents of the village was increasing every day.  This meeting became a common theme for the coming months as the Carson property continued to push the limits, with Lam allowing changes to the property and ordinances of the village to fit the needs of Carson Pirie Scott and their shopping center.  The growing discontent of Serafine and other potential shopping mall builders continued to become more a burden, with special privileges going to Carson’s, but no such allowance to the other interested parties.  Why these actions were so prevalent is unclear.  However, for each request to show leniency in the handling of requests for the Carson’s project, Carson’s would provide some sort of incentive to the village just before or shortly after their request.

At the board meeting the following week, President Lam would read his reasons for the veto of the Serafine property at the board meeting of October 21, 1958.  Lam agreed that the property taxes that were being placed on everyone in the village was very high and burdensome.  Lam went on to state that he has wanted to annex the land north of Rand Road and south of Golf Road, but would not do so unless it was in the villages best interest.  He felt that the annexation for the purpose of creating shopping centers in order to levy sales tax that would allow for alleviation of property taxes on residents of the village would be beneficial.  However, Lam stipulated that in order to pass ordinance on annexation of shopping center property, for Carson’s as well as Serafine, that part of the property deed and covenant would outline the fact that if a building permit for the shopping centers was not applied for by November 1, 1961, that the businesses of Mt. Prospect would be allowed to take legal action to “disannex” the land, or that the land would be reverted to zoning use for residential purposes.[15]    Serafine agreed, prior to the board’s vote in regards to rezoning the proposed Serafine property for commercial use, that he would allow the requested covenants be assigned to the annexed area for disannexation and reclassification should he fail to begin building of a shopping center by November 1, 1961.  This allowed Lam to receive a victory despite rejection by the board.  As the meeting continued the board stated that Carson’s had not submitted such a letter, and requested that it be done so that both shopping centers would be operating along the same conditions.  The attorney of Carson’s, E. W. Saunders, was present at the meeting and agreed to submit such a letter of agreement.  At this point the village moved on to annex the roadways in the newly annexed land for the shopping centers, which was a movement to remove Cook County from having jurisdiction of the roadways, as was the case during the initial discussions of the creation of shopping centers on unincorporated land near Mt. Prospect in 1956.   This set a legal precedent for the Carson property to prove that it was able to be annexed by the village.  Without this proof the board could not move forward with annexation and the project would surely stall or fall into the hands of another town.

On October 28 of 1958, the village discussed the future of the Carson property.  There was fear that legally the village could not annex the property for the 80 acre development. In large part this was due to the annexation of the roadways.  The roadways were not part of this land, thus the Carson property was not contiguous.  However, by annexing the roadways the property became contiguous.  Fear mounted as Willer and Schlaver tried to diffuse the situation by claiming that the road was not being annexed for the sole purpose of the Carson property, but because of the health and morale of the village, the roadways were to be annexed as the roads ran along the outskirts of the village and in front of the high school.  Willer and Schlaver agreed that even if Carson’s property was unable to be annexed that they would want the roads and would be happy with the annexation and development of the Serafine property at the very least.  President Lam would chime in as he wanted to acquire these streets to help alleviate traffic concerns near the high school and keep control over the increased traffic.  Vallely, attorney of Gunnell’s Bowling Alley and El Rando Tavern would put forth his statement that legal action would not be taken by his clients over roadway or Carson property annexation if the village agreed not to annex their property.  The board decided to wait on voting for the annexation of the roadways until a later date, as the maps of the roadways were not complete.

At this point there were motions made on the grounds of future building ordinances over obstruction from construction on open land with no current roadways, as was a committee recommended for the purpose of acquisition of a new water well due to Mt. Prospect population growth.  These last two developments of October 28 would come into play during construction of the proposed shopping centers and became an important piece to the puzzle of the shopping future of the village.  The village was looking for reasons to take control of the roadways, knowing that the land just beyond was needed by the village to push for the Carson property development.  The board was very strategic and understood what their next move would mean to the future of the village.  They knew that these roadways were the key to everything that they had worked for from 1956 to this point in 1958.  With acquiring the roadways, the process to completely clear the way for any other parties, whether individual, other towns, cities, counties, or the state from having the ability to claim the shopping center lands and in some way controlling either the land usage or road access for the shopping centers would be underway.  With this the taxes were to be placed squarely in the hands of the village, with all legal rights to control the growth and tax revenues from the sites.

At the meeting of November 4, 1958 the village meeting resumed the topic of roadway annexation.  According to the Village Attorney, Robert Downing, the plat of land termed as the Burmeister property near the triangle of Rand Road, Main Street (Elmhurst Road), and Foundry Road was not exactly contiguous to Mt. Prospect.[16]  However, according to recent Illinois Supreme Court rulings the land could be considered contiguous to the point of acceptability for annexation, especially since the land at Central and Rand Roads was annexed earlier with similar circumstances.  As a result the board voted and approved annexation of the roads, at which point Serafine asked President Lam why he voted based on previous statutes reflecting no vote from the village president unless necessary to carry the ordinance.  This question from Serafine was a result of difficulties in developing his shopping center at Rand and Central, while also trying to keep other potential shopping centers from being built that would impact his revenue on his new development.  This question also marked continued misunderstanding and the continued bending of rules and regulations by the board, especially Lam, in regards to the Carson project.

The conflict between Serafine and the village would continue at the November 11, 1958 board meeting at which Serafine’s attorney, Allan Bloch, requested correction of the plat for the new shopping center to be corrected as the land east of Rand Road was supposed to be annexed only, but the land east and west were annexed.  The village accepted the correction after a vote, but this further action was another attempt, although somewhat small, to keep additional development from detracting from Serafine’s proposed shopping center.  Despite Serafine’s attempts to keep other shopping centers from being passed by the village and built near his development, the board would read a letter from November 7, 1958 from Martha Burmeister in which she states that the land that she owns, which would become the 80-acre plat for Caron’s shopping center, is in fact contiguous to Mt. Prospect and that the only two residents, Edward and Louise Lewis, all agree that the land should be annexed to Mt. Prospect. At this point the passage of Ordinance 639 would take place to annex this property and the zoning of the land in Ordinance 640 to rezone the newly annexed land for retail sales and service was subsequently passed on the preceding vote.[17]  The land that Randhurst would be built on was now ready for the monumental undertaking to reshape the village and create its pathway to the future.[18]

On January 13, 1959, just two months after annexation of the 80 acre lot for Carson’s to begin its shopping center development, two petitions were voted on at the village meeting.  Carson Pirie Scott and a trustee of Western National Bank of Cicero moved to annex an additional 30 acres each of land east of the current 80 acre lot, but connected to the 80 acres.[19]  What helped with the proposal was an agreement of the board at the village meeting on February 3, 1958 to negotiate with Carson Pirie Scott over a new well being created on their property, which Carson’s preliminarily agreed, perhaps in hopes of having the additional land annexation being passed by the village for further development space.  The agreement on Carson’s part seemed to aid in the passing of the new annexation request.  The Board of Appeals notified the village by letter on February 10, 1959 that the annexation and rezoning of the property east of Carson’s property was passed by 6-0 vote by the Board of Appeals.[20]  During the meeting additional measures were made to improve surrounding streets and sidewalks.  However, it would not be until a letter of explanation read at the meeting on March 3, 1959 from Spurway, the Vice-President of Carson’s who would later rise to the position of President of Carson’s, along with a subsequent in-person statement in front of the board, that the annexation would be passed by the village.

The letter would state that the engineering study suggested that the rentable area was anticipated at 8,000 square feet, with seven cars per 1,000 square feet.  However, the expectation was that the shopping center would service at least ten cars per 1,000 square feet.  As a result Carson’s had asked for the B-3 classification for a few reasons, one was to accommodate the number of parking spaces for a regional mall, allow the right type of retailers/businesses for consideration of a regional mall, build to the size expected of a regional mall classification, and to allow growth as needed.  As such the height requirements needed to allow proper building height for the mall, which the B-1 classification was not sufficient, but the B-3 was.  Spurway would remark to the board after the letter was read that the shopping center planned for parking sufficient to allow enough space for shoppers to require 100.4 acres of land instead of the amount purported in the letter of 73.46 acres.  The request was voted upon and was passed by the members, giving Carson’s the additional land and zoning requirement.  This marked the first time in which the Carson’s development was spoken of as a mall, as well as a regional mall.  In addition, the large amount of space needed for parking and expectations in size and status of the mall came to the fore.[21]

The well, numbered as Well #6, would be discussed on April 7, 1959, which was to be added at the site of Carson’s shopping center development.  The Village Attorney was asked to prepare the financial statements for undertaking this agreement and building of the new well.  By May 26, 1959 the village voted on Well #6 and agreement was made between Carson’s and the village over deeding the land needed for the well to the village, although no further details were provided other than bidding would begin immediately for digging of the well.

At the July 7, 1959 meeting President Lam read a letter from Harold Spurway and Carson Pirie Scott.[22]  The letter expressed interest of the shopping center to include a restaurant that would serve alcohol, as well as a store that would sell alcohol.  Spurway asked that Chapter 13 of the Municipal Code be amended, as liquor licenses of Class “A” were limited and already all accounted for, in order to include two additional licenses.  The board reassessed the request and determined that one Class “A” license would be needed and a Class “C” license needed by the shopping center to meet its request.  However, the board decided to wait to issue a response to the request, perhaps in part due to the fact that the shopping center had yet to agree a contract with tenants, and as such no written application to the village was forthcoming for license approval.  In the meantime the village was informed that the site for Well #6 was to be moved in accordance with the Carson’s shopping center development plan, to ¼ mile further east, which would be further than anticipated from the reservoir that it would draw off of.  However, the newly formed Randhurst Corporation, led by nominee of the corporation Richard Selle, agreed to pay the additional $6,000 it would cost for extra work and materials to provide for the well further away from the reservoir.  The village accepted the change in the agreement.  The final way had been made for the development of the shopping center.  It was now time to break ground and begin Mt. Prospect’s push for a regional shopping center.  In addition, the long tradition of greasing the wheels of politics continued through monetary appeasement.  While requests by Randhurst would continue, in order to provide the most modern shopping experience possible, the village board continued to make way for such requests.

Randhurst was to become the symbol of Mt. Prospect and was an attempt to keep residents from venturing outside of the village limits in order to meet their shopping needs.  The village understood by this time that they needed to increase sales tax revenue in order to keep residential tax burdens low on the homeowners of the village.  By doing this the village knew that it would be able to increase its population by drawing additional homebuyers to the growing village at the end of World War II.  If property taxes remained too high the village ran the risk of new homebuyers moving to surrounding villages and towns, where they would pay less for more.  Taxes would allow for the increase and security of fire departments, police departments, increase in schools, development of roads, development of businesses where people could work or shop closer to home.  The village needed this additional tax money.  The village understood that in order to benefit from sales tax they not only needed people to shop within the community, but also to draw additional shoppers into Mt. Prospect from the periphery.  As a result the village sought to build more than one shopping center, this way they could maximize their potential at grabbing shoppers from various areas of the neighboring land and local residents of the village.  A regional shopping center could allow a draw of shoppers from the city of Chicago and State Street.

[1] The land bordered by Rand Rd., Main St., and Highland Ave. was classified as B, which would allow this area to be used for the building of new business.  Nearby land was classified as R-1, however, the village board moved to reclassify a portion of the land to B to increase the size of the available land for business development, while reclassifying some of the surrounding area from R-1 to R-3, which would allow the village to utilize the land between the reclassified business area and the residential homes for use of offices or rental quarters, which would act as a “buffer” between business and residence.

[2] Not strangely enough was the fact that at this same meeting it was mentioned that the land near the currently classified B area of Rand, Main, and Highland was intentioned to be part of a new shopping center.  This new shopping center was to be built just outside the village limits on unincorporated land, near the B classified border, perhaps even spilling over onto a small sliver of the parcel of land within Mt. Prospect.

[3] The letter was dated September 28, 1956.

[4] The enactment of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 was a necessary stepping stone to suburban growth; thanks to United States President Dwight Eisenhower.

[5] It is unclear exactly what the Kincaid Report said, or who exactly created this report, it is understood that the report spoke of the economic impact of a shopping center for the village.

[6] Trustee Willer advised that copies of the report had been available through the public library for some time and went on to read results of a shopping center and shopping trends survey.

[7] At this the motion passed on Ordinance 587.  Toward the end of this meeting the DiMucci Shopping Center development was brought into the limelight, Case 57-15 and 57-C-17539, in which the construction of this new shopping center was purported to be delayed for a couple of months, as reported in a letter from Kenneth Larson, President of the Prospect Meadows Property Owner’s Association, Inc.  The Judiciary Committee would take this news into consideration over the project at the next board meeting, however no further comments would be addressed, nor would additional information be found on what happened to the DiMucci Shopping Center.

[8] This was perhaps the result of the DiMucci project never coming to fruition or being rejected.  Case 58-2 was to be placed on hold until a report could be completed on adequacy and the possibility of the sewer and water facilities of the village could be utilized by the proposed shopping center, which seems to result in the Mt. Prospect Plaza.

[9] Trustee Casterline seconded the motion and the motion carried.

[10] The Serafine shopping center was referred to as Case 58-16.

[11] The letter is a reference to the letter from Cook County on “Shopping Mall Regulations” in 1956 previously mentioned.

[12] The motion of the Proposed Ordinance 633, which would zone the annexed property for use by Serafine chopping center to build, was again majority in favor of the reclassification from R-1 to B-1, but once again Lam vetoed.

[13] This letter was written the day before the village meeting.  The Zoning Board of Appeals accepted the rezoning petition for the Carson property in Case 58-19.

[14] If this did not occur the board wanted the land to automatically turn into an R-1 residential classification.  This was part of the agreement for by the village in regards to any new shopping centers and annexed land.

[15] As a result Ordinance 632 to annex the land at Central and Rand Roads for the Serafine shopping center was motioned for approval, and this time it passed.  The approval was followed by a motion to postpone this approval in consideration for the reasons outlined by Lam.  This second motion was rejected by majority vote.  The board then voted on Ordinance 633 to rezone the annexed property from residential to business, which was passed despite prior veto from Lam.

[16] This was according to the title no. 48 01 662 of 1958 by the Chicago Title & Trust Company

[17] The land was rezoned from R-1 to B-3.

[18] Resolution 24-58, passed following the rezoning, cleared the way for building to begin as the village made it clear that it did not wish to annex the land of the Popp Estate.

[19] The meeting members moved to send the petitions to the Board of Appeals for further hearings on the issue.  However, work began to bolster the area near the Carson’s lot with the approval of Resolution 3-59, which allowed for paving of parts of Elmhurst Road, while at the same time agreeing to submit notification to the Department of Highways a letter pertaining to the cost of utility adjustments for construction of the shopping center to be placed on the builders rather than on the municipality.

[20] This was Case 59-5.

[21] The documents were to be drawn up by the Village Attorney to move forward with the annexation and zoning as a result of the March 3 meeting.  On March 24, 1959 the village voted and passed Ordinance 661, which linked the 80 acres of Carson’s with the newly annexed Carson’s property, while Ordinance 662 rezoned the new land to B-3.  Ordinance 663 would also be passed that allowed for an additional 13 feet that was not original included in the Carson’s petition for annexation was also allowed to be annexed and zoned as B-3.

[22] The letter that was read was from July 6th.

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