255. Marketplace: Developers Share Plans for Barrington Village Center

5 mins read
Bob Budington of Avison Young Real Estate Solutions and Peter Rusnak of EnVision Realty Advisors - Courtesy of Julie Linnekin

The developers planning to build two new buildings in the center of Barrington are sharing an update on the project’s progress and the prospective tenants they’re working hard to recruit.

The buildings are planned for the vacant lot on the southwest corner of Hough and Main Streets, offering approximately 22,000 square feet of first floor retail space, including restaurants, and up to 30,000 square feet of second and third story office space.

Building 1 is a one-story, 6,000 square-foot retail building (just west of M.J. Miller Jewelers).  Buildings 2N and 2S (on the Hough/Main corner) are up to three-story buildings that connect on the office floors by a pedestrian walkway from the corner of the parking lot.  The site will also provide over 150 parking spaces.

But the developers say it’s the site’s location that ultimately sold them on pursuing this project. 

“We think this is an area that has tremendous purchasing power and has all the attributes that a retailer would want in terms of good traffic and strong demographics.  If you look at a 15 minute drive time around this site, there are a lot of homes and a lot of people who we believe come into town to eat and to shop and we can further increase those numbers if the right offering is here.”

Barrington Village Center Developers Walk Site – Courtesy of Julie Linnekin

We recently caught up with two of the guys behind the development to learn the status of the project and find out what kind of stores, restaurants and office tenants they’re working to put in the space….

The redevelopment team includes experts from EnVision Realty Advisors and Arthur Hill & Co., based in Evanston, Illinois, with commercial real estate brokerage, Avison Young, taking part in the marketing and recruiting initiatives.

Bob Budington of Avison Young Real Estate Solutions and Peter Rusnak of EnVision Realty Advisors – Courtesy of Julie Linnekin

They have to place about half of the development’s tenants to obtain funding and break ground, which they’re projecting they’ll do by spring of 2013 with a delivery of space to tenants by late fall of 2013. Right now, they are negotiating and finalizing letters of intent with office and retail businesses, which would take close to half of the available space.

“We certainly would love to see apparel, we’d like to see shoes, we’d like to see cosmetics and we’d like to have food.”  Co-developer, Peter Rusnak of Envision says they’re also interested in other retailers selling things like accessories and home accents.

And he says there’s space for one or possibly two restaurants.  “We believe that food is a wonderful trip generator and we would like to find both a ‘fast casual’ and also a more upscale restaurant.  We want to appeal to the full spectrum and have an area where adults could get a drink, but where there’s a broad menu that would be great whether you were on a date or with your family.  With both the restaurants and the retail, we’re ultimately working to find tenants whose products are not just commodities that you can go online and buy, but products that people will need to come out and touch and feel and try on.  I think that helps the vitality of the center and also the community.”

Peter says they’re talking with national retailers who provide strong credit and predictable sales as well as regional retailers who offer the center uniqueness.  And he is working closely with Bob Budington of Avison Young, a commercial real estate marketing firm.  Bob is focused on recruiting tenants for the development’s office space.

“The efficiencies of a new building are very appealing, particularly for medical offices. At this stage, we can plan the building with an office tenant in hand as opposed to that tenant trying to go into a second generation building and make it fit.  We are also targeting financial service firms and local business owners who may have an office in Chicago, but would prefer to have an office closer to home.”  The group has tapped Barrington company, Pepper Construction, to build the buildings and the design will be presented to the Village of Barrington’s Architectural Review Committee for final approval before construction begins.  But Peter and Bob say the building materials will include stone, wood and plenty of brick with lots of glass for the retailers and awnings for shading and for signage.

The design also has a pedestrian friendly focus, with outdoor seating adjacent to both buildings along with benches and other public amenities.  “We’re pushing the buildings back a little bit to create wider sidewalks and we’re incorporating natural elements, flower beds and trees to create a very pedestrian friendly, safe environment so it’s big enough for people to walk by alone or with strollers and be comfortable without getting too close to the street.”  Peter also says they had the architect, HKM of Arlington Heights, take special care to be sure the design blends with the Barrington streetscape.  “What we tried to do is come up with something that fits within the existing architecture.  So it’s a slightly updated take on what’s traditionally been in the Village.”

Peter also says they are confident the timing is right for a project of this scale in downtown Barrington.  “We believe the demographics in and around Barrington are very strong.   There’s affluence but, equally important, there’s tremendous educational attainment.  With a  unique offering, we think people from surrounding communities will come and shop or eat here as well.  Retailers looking to expand want what I would call an “A” Market.  And I believe Barrington is that kind of “A” Market where a retailer who comes in, with a good product and a good price point, will be rewarded with good sales.”

For more information or to inquire about available space, call 847-868-0099 or visit the project’s website at BarringonVillageCenter.com.

And if you’d like to offer the developers feedback about what types of businesses you’d most like to see in the new space, they say they’re open to new ideas.  So we created a form for you to share your suggestions, which we will pass along for their consideration.  Please feel free to also leave your thoughts in the comments box below.

Fill out my online form.

By the way, we’re also excited to welcome Barrington Village Center as the latest members of our Online Marketplace here at 365Barrington.com.

CLICK HERE to review their page in our Marketplace and be sure to stay tuned to 365Barrington.com for updates on the tenants they bring on board and the status of the project at Barrington Village Center.

If you’re new to 365Barrington.com, here’s a quick look at how our Marketplace works:


On Mondays each week, we’ll be introducing you to the latest members of our marketplace and sending an email to people who’ve signed up for our newsletter, The 365 Barrington Buzz. If you’d like to receive those emails, which will also include information about upcoming events, we’d be happy to add you to our list of subscribers. Just enter your email here and click “Submit”.

Fill out my online form.

You’ll find the new community resource at 365Barrington.com/Marketplace. To have your business, organization, home or event featured in the new Marketplace,visit 365Barrington.com/Advertise for more information or call Liz at 847-691-3150.


*On-site developer photos courtesy of Barrington Photographer, Julie Linnekin


  1. This is a great article! It is so nice to hear what is going on in Barrington currently and what is planned for the future. I think these new businesses will be an asset to our downtown. We definitely need more shopping and restaurants.

    Love reading your blog!


    • Thank you, Laura. I really appreciate your comment and I, too, am excited for the changes in store for the property at this intersection. Best to you, Liz

  2. It’s gratifying to see movement on this long-dormant parcel, but I wonder why it emphasizes retail — which conflicts with existing businesses — and office space — there’s already a glut in town — but no residential housing. The site is ideal for empty nesters, grandparents and up-and-coming couples who want the amenities of downtown living all within walking distance of Metra, churches, Catlow, nightlife, parks and existing shopping and dining options. I think the lack of housing is a missed opportunity.

  3. Liz,
    This is a great website and marketing strategy. Your information is always timely and using the new technologies gives you a leadership position in the real estate business in Barrington. Great work.

    bob colvin

    • Thanks, Bob. So cool how these publishing tools are right here at our fingertips like never before. I’m hooked!

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