Vital communities are those that are constantly adapting to evolving economic and cultural realities. Mount Prospect economic development certainly fits that description. Change is constant here.
Leave town for a year or two and you will certainly return to find amazing new businesses and lots of changes to the economic landscape of this community of approximately 55,000 residents.
The first phase of redevelopment of the village-owned Busse Triangle in the downtown has recently been approved, according to Bill Cooney, community development director.
A two-story, 3500-square-foot restaurant will be built to the west of the Sub Express building and beyond that, an apartment building offering approximately 73 units in an attached L-shaped building will be constructed, cutting off traffic on Busse Avenue. Traffic will be diverted to the alley to the north.
Plans are also underway for the empty property on the northwest corner of Central Road and Main Street that once held a strip shopping center. The downtown Chase Bank will be relocated to a free-standing, architecturally-pleasing structure on the corner and just north of that will be a 5,000-square-foot pad. Ground is expected to be broken in the spring.
Once the Chase Bank relocates out of the six-story building at Busse Avenue and Emerson Street, the village will work with the owner of that property to revitalize it, along with the property holding the police and fire building to the south, Cooney said. In fact, village officials have been informally surveying other property around the village for a possible relocation of both the police and fire functions – away from the in-demand property along Northwest Highway.
Elsewhere in the downtown, plans are underway for the redevelopment of the Parenti & Rafaelli site along Prospect Avenue and the adjacent commuter parking lot. Parenti & Rafaelli will relocate to a larger facility within Kensington Business Center. Once that happens, Cooney said that they will be able to break ground next spring for apartment/retail buildings on the resulting six-acre site. Plans for future nearby commuter parking are underway.
The Mt. Prospect Station strip center along Northwest Highway has opened with a new Dunkin’ Donuts and the relocated Amethyst Skye Salon from Randhurst. Two vacancies exist, with one ideal for a restaurant. Further east, two retail shops have opened; The Gathered Boutique between Emerson’s Ale House restaurant and the UPS store on Emerson St., the collective next to MB Financial Bank, across from the train station. Additionally, Brick City Tavern and Honey Butter restaurant have both opened to rave reviews.
South of the railroad tracks and across the street from Fannie May, a long-vacant structure that was once used as a gas station and then as a realty office, has been razed and the property is now available for redevelopment after more than 15 years sitting idle.
North of the downtown, activity around Randhurst is brisk. A Kiddie Academy day care center is being built south of the parking garage on the eastern end of the property. It is expected to open early in summer 2018. Michael’s Crafts opened this fall in 25,000 of the 40,000 square feet space, formerly occupied by Sports Authority.
On the northwest corner of the Randhurst property, the former six-story Chase Bank building was demolished in August and new ventures are in the offing. Several retail pads are planned and expected tenants include a McAllister’s Deli and Tide Cleaners. Yet another retail/restaurant pad is planned for the property just north of Nothing Bundt Cakes and Panera, Cooney said.
The properties around Randhurst are also hopping. Andy’s Frozen Custard, a 1950s-style frozen custard store, opened on Rand Road on the site of the former Wendy’s restaurant in August and several small homes along Rand Road, northwest of Chick-Fil-A, are expected to be razed and replaced with a Buona Beef restaurant.
Further southeast on Rand Road construction on the former Mitchell Buick site is expected to commence next spring. It will be filled with a Texas Roadhouse Grill restaurant, The Tile Shop and a AAA Auto Service facility. At Mount Prospect Plaza, Marshall’s has recently expanded its offerings by bringing in its sister store, Home Goods and Kensington Business Center is percolating with vacancies in only the high single digits, Cooney said. In fact, Northland Labs and Parenti-Rafaelli are both among the new tenants.
On the southern end of Mount Prospect the 30,000-square-foot KD Market opened in Golf Plaza II during August. Next door, The Ball Factory children’s entertainment facility will open later this year. Together they roughly take up the space vacated by Dominick’s several years ago.
The biggest retail vacancy south of Golf Road is for 50,000-square-foot former Hobby Lobby space. Cooney said that they are actively searching for new tenants for that location. They are also helping to search for a senior living facility firm, interested in building on eight acres just east of Linneman Road, which has been owned for generations by St. John Lutheran Church.
The biggest 2017 news on the south end of Mount Prospect are the annexations of various parcels along Busse Road, Algonquin Road and Dempster Street, including the United Airlines property. All of those should be complete by the end of the year, Cooney said, in part because Cook County is actively encouraging annexation of unincorporated parcels all over the county.
“In particular, we are working with United Airlines on determining the best future use for their former campus,” Cooney said.
The future use scenario for that land and much of the commercial property in southern Mount Prospect has been significantly enhanced by the creation of a full interchange at Route 83 and the Northwest Tollway, which will be totally completed by the end of 2017, Cooney added.