With the summer months finally upon us, it’s hard to miss the restoration projects clearly underway in downtown Lake Forest’s Market Square. “Market Square is in need of great repair,” explains Market Square’s owner and L3 Capitals’s front man on the project Michael Schreiber. “The historical fabric is faded, broken, and failing. We’ve been working with our team of more than 20 consultants, designers, and historical experts to prepare for the largest restoration project Market Square—and possibly the City of Lake Forest—has ever seen,” he says.
Restoration will occur over the next three years. Though a great deal of work has been happening behind the scenes, the first phases of true construction will kick off beginning in July. The scope of the construction project includes:
• Restoration of all buildings facing Market Square and Western Avenue
• Restoration of the stucco
• Masonry repairs on both clock towers
• Restoration or replacement of windows
• Copper gutter replacement and storm drainage project
• Complete slate roof replacement
• Trim, millwork, and decorative fixture repairs and paint
• Safety upgrades
“During this year’s construction, we’ll be making every attempt to make our tenants comfortable and Market Square as inviting as possible,” Michael says.
In addition to the significant restoration efforts, L3 Capital will also launch its multiphase marketing plan this July. “We are taking an aggressive course in partnership with our tenants to get the word out,” says Michael. “Market Square has a little bit of everything and we want people to spend time here eating, drinking, playing, and shopping. The Lake Forest/Lake Bluff community is our first target audience but we won’t stop there—we will look to get the word out to all of the North Shore.”
L3 Capital is working with an experienced outside marketing firm to make the promotion of Market Square a collective effort for all of its retailers. The marketing plan includes a brand new dynamic website (shopmarketsquare.com) that was built with the idea of connecting the city, tenants, and target customers in a way that is compelling and unique to Market Square. The primary focus is letting the world know what Market Square is all about. The plan also includes a more active social media presence (facebook.com/shopmarketsquare), as well as a strategic advertising plan in all north shore print publications highlighting Market Square’s shops and upcoming events. “Our goal is to enhance the brand of Market Square, not rebrand it,” says Michael. “We have no intention of changing the dynamics of Market Square or lessening the importance the community elements play in the square’s success.”
To this end, L3 Capital is investing in community events that that they know customers enjoy. “Our commitment to the city is evident in our desire to support the city, events and the arts when ever we can,” adds Michael. Currently, L3 Capital is one of the sponsors for the Concert in the Square series, Summer Car Show, and Art Fair in the Square. They are also planning an expanded holiday celebration this coming December.
In addition to the restoration and marketing efforts, L3 Capital is actively courting new businesses to fill the space currently available on Western Avenue. Michael predicts that in the next four to six months, much of this open real estate will be occupied.
“One thing we want to remind the community,” Michael emphasizes, “is that despite the construction, we need everyone to support the shops at Market Square more than ever. Don’t be afraid of the scaffolding…shop local and support our retailers.”
To learn more about L3 Capital’s efforts in Market Square, visit shopmarketsquare.com.