By Molly Cerreta Smith
As you undoubtedly know, 83 Marketplace is currently under construction at the southeast corner of 83rd Avenue and Happy Valley Road. Developed by locally owned and operated MDC Land Development, the center promises to bring another level of dining, retail and service options to the upper west side. The site, which was purchased by MDC Land Development in 2015, has long been in the making to bring elevated dining and shopping to the area. The concept is designed to offer the neighborhood an upscale family-friendly center with non-chain options.
“People in this area are starving for chef-driven restaurants,” says Shari Cashman, director of marketing and operations for MDC Land Development. “That is our primary focus and that has been our focus since day one.” While Cashman admits those types of tenants are much harder to secure, they refuse to steer from their original concept.
She reveals, “If the community wanted a McDonald’s and an AutoZone, we could have filled the center already, but that’s not what we want to give the community with this center. That’s not how we want to build our company and that’s not the reputation we want.”
Mark Cavan, president of MDC Land Development, who used to live in the Westwing neighborhood of Peoria but often frequented Market Street at DC Ranch for its vibrant culture and original tenants, wanted to bring a similar concept to the west side with 83 Marketplace. Initially the three parcels actually had three separate owners, making the acquisition of the entire nine-acre property a lengthy process. It took more than a year alone to simply get through all the approval processes and finally in October 2016, they were able to close on the parcel.
In total, the center will feature 41,200 square feet of unique high-end indoor/outdoor restaurants, retailers and services such as S&V Urban Italian, Deem Proper and Heartland Dental. Phase 1 is currently going up, with Phase 2 to follow. Upon completion, the center will have a central courtyard and Cashman reveals she has a vision for the restaurants to have large shaded patios with twinkling lights, though each one will likely have its own unique spin on its patio design and concept.
The center is designed to be pedestrian friendly and geared toward the younger families in the area that are looking for really cool places to go. “The median age for our demographic is 36 to 37,” says Cashman. “We want to target the female market with a yoga studio or boutique fitness studio, a salon, and a wine bar. We’re trying to bring the Scottsdale-style amenities and offerings to this area.” In addition to elevated offerings, 83 Marketplace is strategically located — Happy Valley Road serves as the first major artery north of the Loop 101 to connect from the I-17 to the Loop 303.
While Cashman notes that as more people are moving north, they are realizing that moving northwest to North Peoria is less expensive. “The benefit to the area is that people are beginning to see the value — you get a lot more bang for your buck out here and that makes sense for families in their 30s and 40s with young kids,” she adds.
The area is growing significantly and showcases positive demographics including 6,000 new rooftops coming in. “When people move out here, they realize the value – and then they get the benefit of having more disposable income in which to frequent better and independently owned shops and restaurants,” Cashman says.
Cashman says the company, which consists of just she and Cavan, are excited to be able to offer residents that higher level of shops and residents…. Though it hasn’t always been easy. “We are really proud of what we are achieving and we are so excited about the final product and the level of tenants that we are introducing to north Peoria,” she adds. “We’re just a small two-person company that is dedicated to seeing our original concept through and sticking to our guns on the type of center we want to create for the neighborhood.”
That “small two-person company” comes with some real clout, however. Cavan has more than 30 years of real estate development and investment experience under his belt and specializes in the acquisition and deposition of investment real estate across the Southwest. Cashman carries with her more than 25 years of operational, strategic marketing, public relations, and management experience.