Bess Hardware Site Redevelopment Background

Trustees Vote to Finalize Sale of Bess Site – June 2018

Earlier this month, the Village released the chosen concept plan for a 5-story, mixed-use residential building for the Bess site. The concept building will primarily consist of: over 70 residential rental units, each with designated interior parking spaces on the first floor, a second floor green open area for building residents and one 718 sq.ft retail space on the first floor.  

On June 19, 2018 the Village Board voted to proceed with the contract for sale to the Drake Group that proposed the concept building. While the meeting had surprising moments, FDG believes that the actual outcome gives us five reasons to be positive about Downtown redevelopment:

After eight years of vacancy, the process to improve the Bess site has officially begun. And while some disagree about the planned site, we can all agree that the emptiness of the site has been a stigma for our town.

The proposed development will increase needed foot traffic to current and future Downtown retail and restaurant sites. 

The $1M earmarked for parking – while unexpected – will help Glenview attract new businesses to fill vacant commercial space along Glenview Rd.

The developer, the Drake Group, is a trusted member of the community. FDG will continue our dialogue with the Drake Group and the Village to pursue ground level changes that will benefit the public, including streetscape and mixed-use improvements.

For those who have doubts, we urge you to stay involved during the planning, appearance and zoning process over the next 1-2 years. FDG is committed to helping residents share feedback through our team of design and development experts. While the sale may be final, there is still time to negotiate site details. 

A final word: FDG is not a political group. Our goal is to harness the energy of residents around Downtown redevelopment even though we will not have common ground on every issue. We appreciate your constructive input about the Bess site and other matters about Downtown. Please email us at:

Design Considerations for the Bess Hardware Site

(Note: the FDG Design Team prepared these Design Considerations for the Bess Hardware Site and presented them to the Glenview Village Board on June 5, 2018.)


Activating the Building’s Streetscape

  • Create a relationship with pedestrians through contextual design and a welcoming ground floor.
  • Enhance with “greening” and accessible open spaces.
  • Utilize the land along the railroad creatively for a pocket-park, open market or outdoor eating.

Expanding Mixed-Use Space

  • Allow for mixed use options along Glenview Road and the tracks (restaurants, commercial, flex-work)
  • Design first floor as “Flex Space,” capable of adapting to changes in the commercial/office market.
  • Attain a true and innovative mixed-use building as suggested by the Village.

Allowing for Parking Flexibility

  • Explore underground parking possibilities (as an alternative to separate remote parking structures)
  • Provide for potential shared public access to ground level parking.
  • Reduce the required parking “ratios” further, consistent with expert analysis and future trends.

Architectural Design: Cost-effective aesthetic improvements through the review process.


You can help shape the future of the Bess redevelopment site by learning more about Planning Commission process and making your thoughts known. Commission meetings are open to the public and typically occur on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 pm at Village Hall. Friends of Downtown Glenview also welcomes your comments  at 

Below is a link for a Guide to the Planning Commission.