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Sauganash Hopes to Attract Shoppers With Lights

By Heather Cherone | December 16, 2014 5:22am
 The lights, which line buildings along the Edens Expressway, were paid for by local businesses.
The lights, which line buildings along the Edens Expressway, were paid for by local businesses.
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Sauganash Chamber of Commerce

SAUGANASH — Business leaders in Sauganash said they hope the new twinkly lights lining buildings along the Edens Expressway will catch shoppers' attention this holiday season.

"We're hoping to make Sauganash a little bit more visible this Christmas," said Jay Smith, of the Smith-Corcoran Funeral Homes. "Sauganash is definitely known for our lights at Christmas, and we're hoping to capitalize on that."

The lights are designed to remind drivers whizzing up and down the Edens on their way to shop in Skokie or Niles that there is a shopping district closer to home, Smith said.

Heather Cherone says if one light goes out, the strand will still work:

The $20,000-worth of lights was paid for by the business district's new Special Service Area, which levies a "nominal" tax on businesses to fund economic development initiatives such as beautification projects as well as marketing efforts, Smith said.

"This is something we plan on doing every year," Smith said.

Overseen by a commission, the effort is designed to bring new life to the "underutilized" Cicero Avenue business corridor along Cicero Avenue between Devon and Peterson avenues, which is home to too many empty storefronts, Smith said.

The commission is developing a plan to build a community identifier at Peterson and Cicero avenues that will detail the history of Sauganash, which was once home to Native Americans in the early 19th century, Smith said.

In addition, the commission is considering installing a bike rack outside Whole Foods Sauganash, 6020 N. Cicero Ave., to attract shoppers on two wheels and take advantage of the bike path through the Cook County Forest Preserve, which is scheduled to be extended from Edgebrook to Mayfair through Sauganash, Smith said.

Five stores are slated to open nearby in the coming months, including the first CorePower Yoga studio on the Far Northwest Side, which opened earlier this month.

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