The North Riverside Planning and Zoning Commission on May 18 will conduct a pair of public hearings and solicit public feedback on two proposed developments to be built on outlots of neighboring commercial properties.

The hearings will start at 6 p.m. in the council chamber of the North Riverside Village Commons, 2401 Desplaines Ave.

The first of the hearings is a request to change the zoning of the property at 7451 Cermak Road from B1 Retail Business to a B2 General Business in order to allow construction of a new fast-food restaurant called Pollo Campero in the northeast corner of the parking lot in front of Hobby Lobby.

Pollo Campero is a Guatemala-based chain with an all-chicken menu of meals, sandwiches and empanadas with about 350 locations in Central America, North America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Most of its 80 locations in the United States are in California, New York City/Long Island and the Washington, D.C., metro area. It has two locations in Illinois, both in Chicago, in the River North and Albany Park neighborhoods.

In late 2022, the company announced it was embarking on an expansion of its business in the U.S., where it hopes to have 250 locations by 2026.

The existing zoning for the Hobby Lobby property does permit restaurants as a use. The B2 General Business District allows both retail and restaurant uses and rezoning that parcel also would result in it matching the zoning of the properties to the immediate east and south.

According to Pollo Campero’s initial petition for a public hearing, which it submitted last December, the roughly 0.7-acre outlot would include a 2,518-square-foot building with indoor and outdoor seating, a drive-thru and a 30-space parking lot.

If approved, the restaurant would be on track to open sometime in 2024.

Second pitch for mall outlot 

Also on May 18, officials from The Feil Organization, which owns the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, will pitch the village a second time to develop an outlot parcel in the mall’s east parking lot, south of Olive Garden.

In early 2020, the mall proposed constructing two buildings in that location, one for a fitness gym and another for general retail, but the COVID-19 pandemic put those plans on ice.

The mall is now proposing outlot construction of an 8,341-square-foot Discount Tire store south of Olive Garden, with a plan to develop a second, roughly 5,200-square-foot freestanding retail building south of that.

Plans submitted to the village by The Feil Organization in April also indicate they intend to build another roughly 4,775-square-foot retail building in what is now an overflow parking lot in the very northeast corner of the mall property, where Clover’s Garden Center leases space each summer.

Construction of the Discount Tire outlot is the only matter to be discussed at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, although the larger plan and storm water management may be a topic.

Plans on file with the mall’s application show they plan to create a new storm water detention area in the abandoned railroad right-of-way in the southeast corner of the mall property.