HP Residents Give Input on Dior Cafe Prior to Zoning Commission Hearing

About a dozen residents met with representatives of Highland Park Village and real estate services firm Masterplan on Feb. 21 to discuss how to improve the Village’s parking and the potential opening of a Christian Dior café.

The Highland Park Zoning Commission will consider a request to rezone the space formerly occupied by Ralph Lauren to permit the 41-seat café’s opening during a public hearing at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 28 at 4700 Drexel Drive

The café would take up 1,497 square feet of Christian Dior’s 14,085-square-foot store, and would only be accessible to Dior customers. The Village plans to re-lease the 2,607-square-foot space formerly occupied by Starbucks as designer fashion, according to the zoning commission agenda briefing.

Masterplan president Dallas Cothrum asked residents to support the rezoning, explaining that replacing the Starbucks with the smaller Dior café would result in less overall traffic at the Village.

“What I’ve heard over and over is fewer restaurants and more parking,” he said. “We’re getting rid of our restaurant that has the most patrons. Starbucks by far turns over the most customers every day. And we’re swapping that for 950 square feet of daytime-only Christian Dior. That’s the only request we’re asking for right now.”

Residents, Cothrum and Highland Park Village representatives discussed other ways to lessen the parking crunch around the Village, including adding more offsite parking for employees and increasing customers’ usage of the Village’s free valet service.

“One thing that might be helpful is if there are spots in valet to be some kind of notice when you drive through that there are spots,” resident Wade Mayo said.

Residents discouraged the Village from considering subterranean parking as a potential solution, citing concerns about construction traffic and the structure’s impact on its surroundings.

“As you think of things, tell us,” Cothrum said. “I will say they listen, the ownership listens.”

Resident Paul Schoonover encouraged others to attend the Feb. 28 meeting.

“We live in a town, thank God, where the government listens to us,” he said.

Share this article...
Email this to someone
Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.