Vernon Hills’ Rivertree shuffles, signs big stores
Construction crews renovate the Rivertree Shopping Center building that formerly housed Blockbuster and Verizon Wireless. Destination XL, a plus-size clothing retailer, is set to move in. | Rick Kambic~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 22, 2013 2:46AM
VERNON HILLS — Two big retailers are moving into Vernon Hills’ Rivertree Court Shopping Center.
Ross Dress for Less and Destination XL both continue their expansions into the Midwest by leasing space in the plaza off Milwaukee Avenue near Townline Road.
Office Depot recently relocated to a smaller space within Rivertree, a storefront adjacent to Old Navy. Ross Dress for Less will fill the 10,200-square-foot void. Village officials say the store should be open this spring.
Ross Dress for Less sells off-priced name-brand clothes, shoes and house decor. The California-based company refers to itself as the third largest off-priced retailer in the United States, behind only T.J. Max and Marshalls.
Of its more than 1,000 stores in 29 states, Ross Dress for Less made its first push into the Midwest in October 2011 when 11 Chicago-area stores opened from Arlington Heights through as far south as Matteson.
Destination XL plans to fill a portion of the space Verizon Wireless and Blockbuster formerly occupied before both left in 2008. Verizon moved to a freestanding building outside Westfield’s circle drive, along Townline Road.
The plus-size retailer is a sister company to Casual Male XL, which already has a store along eastbound Townline Road.
Representatives from Destination XL told the Vernon Hills officials they plan to close to Casual Male XL store when its lease expires.
The new 8,000-square-foot store is expected to open by March and will offer name brand clothes, wider shoes and on-site tailoring.
Both stores received approval from the plan commission and village board earlier this month to renovate their exteriors. Along with installing company-colored façade, Destination XL will relocate the main entrance and transform the old doors into a window display.
ß∑These changes come nearly two years after the former AMC Rivertree Court 8 movie theatre was renovated to become a Gordmans store. To help offset economic difficulties, the village signed a sales tax incentive program with Inland Reality in 2011 worth as much as $385,000 – Vernon Hills essentially gives Inland 75 percent of the village sales tax generated in Gordmans until 2021.
While reviewing the Ross Dress for Less and Destination XL proposals, village trustees said they’re pleased to see the shopping center rebound and feed off its own successes.
A staff report said Rivertree only has limited storefront available for lease.
The business community is equally pleased to see Ross Dress for Less and a larger plus-sized store in Vernon Hills.
“Vernon Hills is a fashion Mecca,” said Carol Levin, GLMV chamber of commerce spokeswoman. “The GLMV Chamber supports anything that encourages business in the community, as that is healthy and good for everyone. We are encouraged by the addition of new stores, which adds jobs and helps the local economy.”