Wilmette, News

Luxury clothing brand James Perse on way to Plaza del Lago

The next era at one of the nation’s oldest shopping centers is beginning to come into focus. 

Wilmette’s Appearance Review Commission during its July 1 meeting granted approval to two requests from Plaza del Lago’s ownership team that offer an indication at what’s ahead for the historic shopping center. 

WS Development, the Massachusetts-based mixed-used developer that owns the iconic Wilmette property, requested two appearance review certificates from the commission that will allow the company to make a series of facade changes at several storefronts.

Representatives from WS Development presented their request to remodel the storefront on the northwest corner of Sheridan Road and Westerfield Drive inside the shopping center. The space inside Plaza del Lago was previously occupied by Taco Lago.  

Specifics of this request included the installation of the new storefront windows and an entry door with black framing. Additionally, a new stone tile base will be installed, according to the project request. 

The storefront will be occupied by the Los Angeles-based company James Perse Enterprises, which operates more than 50 high-end retail boutique stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan. The brand offers men’s and women’s clothing, footwear, home furnishings, and accessories and goods.

A representative for James Perse told commissioners during the meeting that the business’s price points “are pretty much on the luxury end.” 

James Perse will take over the Plaza del Lago storefront previously occupied by Taco Lago.

The announcement of James Perse as a tenant at the center is one of the first new occupants that has been made public since WS Development took over ownership of Plaza del Lago. WS representatives have declined to announce other pending occupants, but previously told The Record that major retailers Jewel-Osco and CVS will likely stay.

Since WS Development took over the shopping center, longtime local stores Yellowbird Stationery, Hanig’s Footwear, Chantilly Lace, and Giggles and Giraffes/La Colonna jettisoned Plaza del Lago for downtown Wilmette, while Rosati’s Pizza closed its plaza location and Char Crews closed entirely.

WS Development also received approval from the commission for a request to make a series of “minor” facade changes to a trio of storefronts located in the building within the shopping center that includes the signature tower. 

These changes include consolidating two entrances, removing rear second-story windows and modifying a storefront window opening, according to information submitted to the village.   

WS Development’s Sarah Andrews told commissioners that the requested facade changes are happening for an “exciting reason.” 

“We are starting to work with some tenants in the building,” Andrews said, noting that she “can’t mention who they are today,” but that “they are progressing on front of house and back of house designs.”

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martin carlino
Martin Carlino

Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.

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