In her first State of the Village address, Kelly Burke said that she was thrilled to serve as mayor, and credited her predecessor Jim Sexton for leaving a strong financial and business legacy in Evergreen Park.
Burke spoke to business community members at the American Legion hall on October 14, 2021, and gave a detailed report on the financial health of Evergreen Park. The town has a balanced budget, she said, with funds available to maintain public works and safety equipment, and also to upgrade local parks. Home sales are strong, with the average single family home price increasing 12% over 2020, Burke said.
As for business development, Evergreen Plaza is 95% leased and was just sold to a buyer whom Burke expects will continue to put resources into the shopping complex and attract quality retailers. In addition, businesses along Western Avenue are filling up, with very little space available. Burke said she has conducted an ongoing commercial tour of Evergreen Park and cited several new businesses that had opened this year.
The Village is developing a list of vacant commercial properties in other areas of Evergreen Park, including along 95th Street, in an effort to recruit new businesses, especially locally owned ones. Burke said she also would like to attract some new chain restaurants that offer healthier options.
In the mayor’s remarks, it was clear that community input is an important component of her leadership approach. She invited feedback from business owners and residents on what they would like to see for Evergreen Park. Since taking the reins of leadership, she has reached out to community members and business owners to take their temperature on how the Village is doing. To engage residents, she also added new members to several Village committees to assess current programs and explore ways to make them more robust.
The Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present the State of the Village Address and Luncheon every year, and thanks Mayor Burke for sharing her updates with business and community stakeholders.