Orchard Park Plaza Sold for $2.1M; Theater Building Also Sold

PF Foods, Orchard Fresh Market
Once Jewel, once Sterk’s, once Park Forest Foods, once Country Squire Foods. What could be next at Orchard Plaza? (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Two significant pieces of real estate in the Downtown area sold recently, Orchard Park Plaza and the Movie Theater Building, both previously owned by Matanky Realty. Matanky had done little to improve the properties through the years, bringing in grocers that failed and theater owners who failed.

Marketing efforts appeared sporadic, less than nil.

All in all, parting ways with Matanky Realty seems like a plus for the future of Park Forest. With Matanky, we learned that many, many promises led to very little actually happening.

Some might recall the furniture store that was supposed to open some years ago across from Dining on the Green. Signs — and even furniture inside — led to nothing.

But now things truly are different and Park Foresters can afford to be incredibly cautiously optimistic.

Time will tell what comes about.

The online auction dates for Orchard Park Plaza were April 15-17, 2019. When the auction was advertised, the plaza was only 37.72% occupied, according to an email and social media post advertising the auction from Matanky Realty. The starting bid was $600,000 with the buyer paying the transaction fee.

Movie Theater in Park Forest
The movie theater in Park Forest may have a future again – perhaps? (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

The property closed a couple of weeks ago, according to Village Manager Tom Mick.

No specifics yet on the selling price of the movie theater building, nor on the new owners.

We can only hope that the new developers take their new properties seriously and turn them into something that will benefit Park Forest and surrounding communities. Seeing these areas become destinations for retail or employment someday would be very gratifying, and long overdue.

The author’s commentary comes, in part, from his time as a Village Trustee in Park Forest and numerous interactions with Matanky Realty through the years in that position.