Author: Amie Rowland, The Patch
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VERNON HILLS, IL - Area shoppers will soon have more retail options as a new upscale mall recently broke ground in Vernon Hills. Located on nearly 33 acres at the northeast corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Townline Road, Mellody Farm has already signed on some major tenants, including Whole Foods, outdoor retailer REI, Home Goods and Nordstrom Rack with plans to announce more stores and restaurants in the coming months.The $200 million project will also include a residential component with 260 apartments onsite, according to the Vernon Hills Review.
Mellody Farm will include 260,000-square-feet of total retail space and developers plan to announce more openings on its Facebook page in coming months. The announcement that REI would be coming to town drew excitement from Facebook fans. Mellody Farm will partner with REI for outdoor events, and will have direct pedestrian access to the Des Plaines River Trail and canoe launch just south of Mellody Farm on Townline Road, according to the Facebook announcement.
"The REI is uniquely positioned close to the Des Plaines River Trail canoe launch directly across the street," Matthew Hendy, the vice president and market officer of developer Regency Centers Corporation, told the Daily North Shore. "That's one of the main reasons they wanted to be here and in the position they are in — they will have the ability to test canoes on the water and test bikes on the trail."
Hendy also told the Daily North Shore more cool boutiques, outside dining and a park will be onsite.
Apartments at Mellody Farm will include one-, two- and three-bedrooms that range in size from 750 to 1,450 square feet and will cost between $1,600 and $3,000 a month, according to the Daily North Shore.
“There are not a lot of opportunities for a walkable environment in the suburbs,” Focus CEO Tim Anderson told the Daily North Shore. “People can walk out their door and walk to Whole Foods. It’s a unique opportunity.” Focus Development has partnered Regency Centers Corporation to construct the apartments.
A part of the project will also include area roadway repairs and additions to make room for more traffic to help ease congestion and address safety concerns near the intersection of Townline Road and Milwaukee Avenue, the Vernon Hills reports. A new stoplight is planned on Townline Road a few blocks east of Milwaukee Avenue, which would include a crosswalk to the river launch site. The proposal also include widening Townline Road to nine lanes from the current six lanes.
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