RAVENSWOOD - Former Mayor Lucy Harbert is working with the owners of the Ravenswood Shopping Plaza to bring in businesses and fill the empty space once occupied by Fashion Bug as well as the upcoming vacancy when Big Lots leaves at the end of the year.
Harbert stated that Ed Jacobson called her about a month ago to say that Sheetszwas interested in locating in Ravenswood. She went on to explain that the plaza is a family-owned property that Jacobson shares with his cousin, George Christopher.
According to Harbert, the plaza owners had been trying to contact local government officials for about six months but were unable to do so. She added that it might have been a case of a lack of communication.
"I normally deal with George, but he told Ed to call me," said Harbert. "It was the first time that I had ever dealt with Ed. They said they had been trying to set up some sort of meeting with planning or the city and hadn't gotten any response. They said they had been trying for six months".
She stated that could have been a lack of communication and she wasn't sure what had happened.
Said Harbert, "When he said they wanted to put Sheets in, I immediately made some phone calls and got the planning commission (the ones that are still on that). We all went down to city hall and set up a meeting. Mr. Jacobson came in from Virginia and then they had a special council meeting to put some more people on the planning commission and voted on it."
With Big Lots leaving at the end of the year and Fashion Bug pulling out, there is a need to attract other businesses to the area.
"With Big Lots moving out it was a mutual decision and Fashion Bug just picked up and left. It was just gone," said Harbert, "Mr. Jacobson and Mr. George want to fill those spaces and they have made some contacts. It's still up in the air. They don't want to commit to anything just yet. They want to keep it confidential for now."
According to the former mayor, Jacobson and Christopher have plans to give the plaza a bit of a face-lift.
Harbert finished, "They want to spruce up the plaza a whole lot and I've had some people to go in and place tile. They want to power wash the sidewalks and replace some of the doors. So, like I said, they genuinely want to get other things in here."