Tinley Park Getting Back In The Swing Of Things With Construction Projects

Picking up where it left off before pandemic, development and construction projects are resuming in Tinley Park. We started to see things pick up in September of last year, six months into COVID quarantine, but the new year has seen an even bigger uptick.

Despite the pandemic and the uncertainty it has created, Tinley Park is alive with the opening of new businesses along with construction, expansion and planning for further development.

Carrie Steinweg (NWI Times)

Here are the development projects in the works and their statuses:

Downtown Tinley Redevelopment

Oak Park Avenue Metra Warming Shelter

Construction of the new warming shelter on the north side of the tracks at the Oak Park Avenue train station was completed last week, and the facility is now open for public use. The Village hired F.H. Paschen to construct the shelter, which also includes storage space for the Oak Park Avenue station and its vendor, Cavallini’s.

The Boulevard

The Boulevard is a 296,419-square-foot, mixed-use development at the southeast corner of South Street and 67th Court. The new building is being constructed by South Street Development, LLC and will be four stories tall, with 29,853 square feet of retail space on the first floor and 165 residential apartment units (99 one-bedroom and 66 two-bedrooms). It is being constructed in two phases on approximately three acres of land, built of a combination of brick, precast stone and Hardie Board Siding. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Sept. 5 at the site. 

The anticipated completion date is March 2021. That’s less than 3 months away!

New Downtown Streetscape Project

Kicked off on Oct. 1, 2018, the Lakota Group has provided streetscape designs to reimagine downtown Tinley along Oak Park Avenue, from 159th street to 183rd street; including portions of the side streets extending in both directions. The three major projects within the Downtown Streetscape Project are the Boulevard (as mentioned above), the Bremen Station projects, and the new Harmony Square. For all design layouts and information visit the Tinley Park page on the Lakota Group’s website. Due to the pandemic construction impacted the progress of the projects, and right now there is no tentative completion date for the projects.

The Banging Gavel

The Banging Gavel will be a brewery, restaurant/public house, outdoor patio and residence housed in the historic Vogt building at 6811 Hickory St., Tinley Park. The brewing production will occur on the ground floor. The restaurant/public house will be on the first floor, and private events and the kitchen will be on the second floor. The outdoor patio will provide food and beverage service, as well as live music. The third floor will be a private residential unit. The restaurant/public house will be open Tuesday through Sunday with reduced hours for the patio. The brewery will operate seven days a week.

The latest update came from the architecture firm AltusWorks in August of 2020, after the building permit had been issued in July 2020. Temporary fencing has been erected around the property, but the pandemic has impacted the construction schedule and there no completion date has been set yet.

Freedom Pond

Construction of Freedom Pond, a naturalized detention basin dates back to spring 2017. The village projects completion for spring of this year, 2021. The location of the detention basin is on eight acres of the Panduit property, at the north-east corner of 175th Street and Ridgeland Avenue. The work is being completed by Dyer Construction. The south entrances will be coordinated with the Cook County/Ridgeland project later this year.

For more details, visit the Freedom Pond page on the Village of Tinley Park’s website.

Harmony Square Plaza

The Harmony Square development will be a public plaza located in Downtown Tinley. The development is a key component of the Village’s new branding initiative that makes music the focus of Tinley Park. This downtown public space will be programmed at least 250 days of the year and will be a destination for residents and regional visitors alike. 

As of November 2020 the Village was in the process of acquiring the final parcel of property required to proceed with construction. No further updates as of yet.

Avocado Theory

The full building permit for Avocado Theory restaurant was issued on November 9, 2020 and work was completed just 2 days ago! The restaurant redeveloped the standalone commercial property on 17302 Oak Park Avenue into a mixed-use building with said restaurant, patio area and a second-floor apartment. The business will include a variety of avocado-based, fresh and healthy foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Avocado Theory also plans to have a catering aspect for parties.

For more updates visit the Avocado Theory’s Facebook page.

Village-Wide Projects

Brixmor Redevelopment

Brixmor is redeveloping the Tinley Park Plaza shopping center on the east side of Harlem Avenue, just south of 159th Street. Brixmor’s phased renovation plan will cost about $22 million and includes demolition of approximately 87,000 square feet of the in-line center and construction of new retail spaces to accommodate the retailers under contract, as well as others yet to be determined. Future renovations will include the creation of new tenant spaces, improvements to the north end of the in-line center, and separating the current in-line center into two buildings for better access to loading docks and service entrances essential for deliveries. The Village will offer financial assistance in an amount not to exceed $9.9 million, or 50% of the actual project costs, whichever is lower. This financial assistance will come from a combination of TIF incremental revenues from the shopping center properties alone, and incremental municipal sales taxes (1%) from all the businesses located in the shopping center over a 10-year period. A maximum of $8.1 million of TIF-eligible costs are to be paid from the TIF increment generated, with the remainder (as much as $1.8 million) to be paid from incremental sales taxes.

Project Update [November 2020]: Demolition started on the former Tinley Park Mental Health Center Property (approximately 280 acres). It is the single-largest development opportunity in Tinley Park. The Village has the opportunity to create a legacy project that can complement the entire Village. Following a Request for Qualifications to the development community, which resulted in five proposals, the Village entered into an Exclusive Negotiation Rights Agreement (ENRA) with Melody Square, LLC in January 2019. In Spring 2019, the Village was approached by Rick Heidner, part of the Melody Square team, about building a harness race track, casino, hotels, restaurant and other entertainment venues on the Tinley Park Mental Health Center site, an option made possible by recent legislation passed by the State of Illinois expanding gambling in the State and specifically authorizing a racetrack/casino in the south suburban area. Presently, the Village is working with the State to secure the property while the developer is in the process of applying for licenses from both the Illinois Gaming and Racing boards. 

A little more history: Back in the fall of 2019, after several months of negotiations, the state of Illinois decided to not sell the property to the Village to develop a racino complex. In the spring, the state reconsidered, and the governor announced the State would sell the property to the Village. However, the COVID-19 crisis hit, so the State has not had substantive discussions with the Village since then. A bill was passed in late spring that allocated $15 million from the State for cleaning up the site. It is unknown when that money will be released.

Branding Initiative

The Village’s branding effort seeks to transform Tinley Park into an Illinois music mecca through the enhancement of its existing assets, such as the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater and its award-winning school bands, and through the addition of several new features such as a new downtown plaza and a dedicated indoor music facility.

Wayfinding Sign Program

The Marketing Department, in coordination with the Marketing and Branding Commission, has been working with KMA on the development of a Village-wide wayfinding sign program. This initiative has included the development and review of the Village’s existing sign inventory, the facilitation and analysis of a public survey, research on local and federal regulatory signage requirements and the collection of vehicular traffic counts throughout the community.

The Magnuson

The Magnuson is a multi-family development with 144 units to be located at 19248-19288 Magnuson Lane. The luxury apartment complex, which includes a clubhouse, pool and roof terraces, was approved by the Village Board on Dec. 5, 2017. There will be four residential structures with 36 residential apartment units in each with underground parking.

The project is set to complete this summer. For more updates visit The Magnuson website.

Water Meter Replacement

The Village of Tinley Park has hired United Meters, Inc. to replace all Severn-Trent/Elster water meters in town with Sensus iPERL water meters.
Project Update [October 2020]: Water meter installations are 99.86 complete. Letters have been sent to all non-compliant residents, with many of them responding and scheduling appointments to have meters changed to avoid additional fees. There are less than 31 meters left to replace in the less than 1-inch size.

License Plate Recognition (LPR) Cameras

The Village hired F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen & Associates LLC to install License Plate Recognition (LPR) cameras at the intersection of 183rd Street and Harlem Avenue. The first installation took place in December 2017, with the second installation following in January 2018. More cameras are being installed on Harlem Avenue, 183rd Street and Northcreek Drive. LPR cameras work by taking pictures of license plates and then converting the images to computer data that can be checked against a database. The LPR camera project has moved on to 191st Street and Harlem Avenue. Additional locations will be determined and bid out in the near future. 

LED Street Lighting

The LED Street Lighting program is being conducted in four phases. Village is replacing high pressure sodium street lights with new LED street lights. Phases include:

  • About 140 LED lights on 159th Street between 86th Avenue and Oak Park Avenue
  • About 370 lights on 179th Street between Bridwood Lane to 62nd Avenue and on 172nd Street between Harlem Avenue and 62nd Avenue
  • About 50 lights will be replaced with ornamental LED lights on Oak Park Avenue between Tinley Park Drive and Hickory Street
  • About 145 lights will be replaced with ornamental LED lights on Oak Park Avenue between 172nd Street and 178th Street.

Project Update [November 2020]: The Tinley Park Public Works Department will replace all of the streetlights on 159th Street between 86th and Oak Park avenues from outdated high-pressure sodium fixtures to high-efficient LED fixtures. The project will begin Wednesday, Nov. 4, and work will be done between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day. The project is slated to be complete by the end of November, weather permitting. The project is a joint venture with the Village of Orland Park. Tinley Park will be updating 135 streetlights on the south side of 159th Street, and Orland Park will update 130 streetlights on the north side of 159th Street. In order to safely replace the fixtures, Public Works will set up a moving traffic lane closure during work. The Village apologized for any inconvenience this work may have caused.

Lenny’s Food N Fuel Gas Station (7451 W. 183rd Street)

The proposed gas station site includes 18 vehicle fueling stations, three large truck fueling stations and a 9,100-square-foot convenience store building. In addition to typical retail items, the convenience store building includes space for a Dunkin’ Donuts with a drive-through, a second food service vendor and an area intended for video gaming. The facility is expected to look and operate similar to other Food N Fuel and Gas N Wash locations in the area (Food N Fuel at 19420 Harlem Ave., Tinley Park; Gas N Wash at 8810 W. 191st St., Mokena; and Food N Fuel at 2560 N. Cedar Road, New Lenox, among others).

Lenny’s held a grand opening ceremony on Dec 19, 2020, and the facility is open for business.

Lenny’s Car Wash (18421 West Creek Drive)

Lenny’s Car Wash would be on a consolidated lot with the previously approved Food N Fuel gas station and convenience store at 7451 W. 183rd Street. The new site would be branded as a Gas N Wash instead of the originally proposed Food N Fuel.

Construction began in December. A completion date has not been set yet.


Vequity LLC is constructing a 7-Eleven gas station and convenience store on the southwest corner of 171st Street and Harlem Avenue (17100 and 17110 Harlem Avenue). The proposal includes a 3,511-square-foot convenience store and canopy area with 10 vehicle fueling stations. Building permits have been submitted and are under review.


Bandana’s is a full service barbeque restaurant that will occupy the vacant building at 16200 S. Harlem Avenue. Remodeling work has commenced.

Holiday Inn

SD Hospitality LLC submitted building permits to construct a new Holiday Inn hotel on the property at 18320 North Creek Drive. The proposed Holiday Inn hotel is 63,471 square feet and four stories tall on a 2.47-acre lot in the North Creek Business Park. The full-service hotel will have 108 rooms, an indoor pool, a fitness room, meeting rooms, an outdoor patio, a dining area and a hotel lounge with a bar. Unfortunately due to the pandemic, the project is on hold until later this spring.

Even Hotel

Even Hotel is a re-branding of the former Holiday Inn. Miraculously it opened its doors last year despite the pandemic. Full renovations will be completed later this fall. You can check out pictures online at: https://www.ihg.com/evenhotels/hotels/us/en/tinley-park/chitn/hoteldetail

Pavement Projects

The Pavement Management Program is an annual program that resurfaces/repairs roadways in the Village. More information is available on the Public Works page.

80th Avenue Station Repairs

The Village has hired F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen & Associates to replace four deteriorating staircases and perform railing replacement and site restoration at the 80th Avenue Metra train station. The steps have been closed to the public for several months. The Village also is working with the station’s original architect and the bond company for the contractor, which is no longer in business, to determine the cause of other maintenance issues at the station and the best way in which to fix them. Demolition began on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. There will be two phases of two staircases each, for a total of four. The Village is anticipating full completion by the end of June. There will be a few parking spots blocked off for material staging. Please see the Work Schedule and the Site Phasing and Staging Plan for more information. The Village appreciates commuters’ patience during the repair.

Project Update [October 2020]: Remaining items include finishing the installation of the brick pavers and new handrails. The project is anticipated to be completed by Oct. 30, 2020.

Stone Coping Repairs

The Tinley Park Public Works Department is repairing stone coping at the 80th Avenue Metra train station. Cachey Construction will be making repairs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily from March 13 to 27. Various areas will be blocked off for safety reasons. Detour routes are posted in the area, and there are ample ways to enter and exit the train station. For more information, please call Public Works at (708) 444-5500 or email [email protected].

175th Street Improvements

The Village is conducting an engineering study for improvements to 175th Street from Oak Park to approximately 600 feet east of Ridgeland Avenue; Ridgeland Avenue from approximately 600 feet south of 175th Street north to Oak Forest Avenue; and Oak Forest Avenue from Ridgeland Avenue to 1100 feet east. Proposed improvements entail total reconstruction of the roadways, including: new curb and gutter, sidewalks, a multi-use path along Ridgeland Avenue, on-street bike lanes along 175th Street, a new drainage system, proposed roadway lighting, and various utility improvements. For this project, the Village is working with the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways. Final design approval is anticipated for summer 2020, with a construction schedule that is to-be-determined and subject to Cook County funding and right of way acquisition.

The Village will host an open house for this project from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5 at Village Hall, 16250 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park. The open house will include exhibits of the intended intersection improvements, many of which are linked below. Those who cannot attend are encouraged to fill out a comment card so that the Village can relay residents’ concerns and ideas to Cook County.

Infrastructure Improvement Projects

Post 7 Force Main Lining Project

The Village Board has authorized VisuSewer to perform cleaning, televising and cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining of the existing Post 7 Sanitary Force Main. The work will require excavation of access pits and construction operations at various locations throughout the project area outlined in the map included in the project updated linked below. The project will begin Oct. 14, 2019 and is expected to be completed by mid-December, weather permitting.

All punchlist items have been addressed, and this project was completed late last year.

LaGrange Road Utility Design

The Village has contracted with Baxter & Woodman to design utilities from 179th Street to 183rd Street.  The design of these utilities will help spur redevelopment in the area. 

Apple Lane Pond

Apple Lane Pond located at 161st Street and Creekmont Court has eroded so much that it eliminated the required amount of oxygen for wildlife to survive on hot days. The pond needs to to be dredged and replanted; a complete restoration is needed. This project includes sediment removal (Phase One) and shoreline restoration (Phase Two).

Project Update [October 2020]: All site grading, seeding and erosion control blanket installation activities at the site are complete, with the exception of a very narrow strip on the west side of the pond where the sediment bags will soon be removed. The sediment removal contractor has completed its work, and the restoration contractor will begin restoration in the area where the bags were drying out in September. Installation of seating and interpretive signage is expected by the fall.

Fairfield Glen Pond

Fairfield Glen Pond at 88th Avenue and LaPorte Road needs major ecological restoration to get all invasive species issues under control; plant material is overgrown and taking over the pond. 

Project Update [October 2020]: Site stewardship and vegetation management work is ongoing. Most recently, there has been regular spot mowing of some areas to manage invasive species. The plug plantings installed in June have had good survival, and the geese protection fencing in those areas is still in good shape. Work on the ornamental landscape beds, seating and interpretive signage installations is expected to be completed by the fall.

Hydrant Flushing

Hydrant flushing is the quick release of water from fire hydrants. It’s a controlled procedure that is vital to the general maintenance of the Village’s water distribution system. It ensures adequate water flow is available to firefighters, residents and businesses. It also helps maintain the Village’s water clarity and quality by clearing iron and mineral deposits from the water mains (distribution pipes). Hydrant flushing is completed for 2020 and will resume in spring 2021. Hydrant maintenance started in the fall of 2020.

Hydrant Painting

The hydrant painting program is a multi-year program in which the Village’s selected contractor comes to a specific area of town to paint hydrants. The Village has divided the town into multiple sections based on number of hydrants. The contractor sandblasts each hydrant, sprays the hydrant with a primer, and then paints the hydrant yellow. The caps of the fire hydrants are painted a different color based on the water main size. The color coding helps Village staff in the field when there’s a water main leak or when other repairs are needed to the water main. The hydrants are also updated into GIS with the date they have been painted.

Project Update [October 2020]: The hydrant painting program is 100% complete. The Village painted a total of 1,200 fire hydrants last year year.

Sanitary Sewer Smoke Testing

The Village’s smoke testing project consists of inspecting sanitary sewer manholes and smoke testing the sewer pipes between manholes. The smoke is non-toxic and should not enter homes unless there is an issue with your private sewer service. There is no need for the contractors performing the work to enter homes. See the project area map or a list of frequently asked questions for more information. Other questions can be directed to Public Works at (708) 444-5500.

Project Update [October 2020]: Smoke testing is complete and will resume in the summer of 2021.

Non-Village Projects

The below projects are not being conducted by the Village of Tinley Park but are included here as a reference for residents.

175th St./Ridgeland Ave./Oak Forest Ave. Reconstruction Project

The Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways repaired sections of 175th Street from Oak Park to Ridgeland avenues in October 2019. Work included grinding the road two inches down at spots, followed by paving. These repairs are only temporary fixes intended to improve the condition of the road for the winter.

Updated [October 2020]: Robinson Engineering has completed design plans for this project. The Cook County Highway Department is currently working on construction easements with residents. This project is expected to bid in spring 2021.

80th Avenue Widening Project

Will County will perform widening and reconstruction of 80th Avenue from 191st Street to 183rd Street. The project will include constructing additional through lanes and turn lanes; the construction/reconstruction of two 12-foot through lanes in each direction; the construction of an 18-foot barrier median; traffic signal installation/modifications at 185th Street and 183rd Street; construction of noise walls on the northwest corner of the 183rd street intersection; replacement of triple circular culverts with a bridge over Union Drainage Ditch; and replacement of culvert for a tributary to the Union Drainage Ditch.

Oak Lawn Water Rates/Infrastructure Improvements

The water system infrastructure improvements that Oak Lawn and its engineering firm have been designing are scheduled to be completed in 2023. The new system will have dual, redundant feeds; more modern and efficient pump stations; and significantly larger capacity.

Orland Ridge Development Project

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