Sunday, May 24, 2020 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
A local business is planning to build a new building in order to expand its operations. AVW Equipment, a family-owned car wash equipment manufacturer, wants to build a 1-story, 10,000-square-foot facility next to its current operation located at 105 S. 9th Ave. (also known as 810 St. Charles Rd.) in Maywood.
The company submitted a series of zoning variance requests to the Maywood Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals, which voted 6-0 on Feb. 25 to recommend that the Maywood Board of Trustees grant AVW the requests.
Architectural renderings of AFW Equipment’s proposed expansion. | Charles Vincent George Architects
As part of the expansion, the company plans to acquire two nearby houses at 109 S. 9th Ave. and 115 S. 9th Ave., raze both properties except for a garage behind 115 S. 9th Ave. and build an employee parking lot in their place. On May 24, 115 S. 9th Ave. had already been demolished and a fence constructed around the site perimeter.
Documentation related to the zoning variances and the expansion was couched in an omnibus agenda that the trustee board unanimously approved at a regular meeting on May 19, but it wasn’t clear whether or not the board was voting on the variances or a motion approving the final draft of a transit-oriented development plan. Village officials could not be reached Sunday evening for comment.
In a letter to the village’s Department of Community Development, Mira Djordjevic, a co-owner of AVW Equipment, said that the company has been located at its current site for more than 30 years.
A site that was formerly 115 S. 9th Ave. in Maywood, which AVW Equipment is planning to convert into employee parking, as part of an expansion project. | Michael Romain
“We have outgrown our current facilities and need more manufacturing and warehouse space to manufacture both safely and productively,” she wrote, adding that the additional space would allow the company to “have a designated set of docks for loading and another for unloading.”
Djordjevic also said that the expansion “would relieve congestion on the street with trucks competing to load and unload throughout the day as well as allow us to more effectively stage the equipment going out assuring the orders are complete and accurate.”
The additional building will allow the company to expand its machining department and hire between 15 and 30 more employees, she explained in the zoning application.
The zoning petition was submitted in December 2019, months before the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, it’s unclear whether or not the current crisis has prompted the company to change course. Company officials could not be reached on Sunday evening for comment.