Hobby Lobby in Mundelein is planning a crafty move down the street to Vernon Hills, filling the vacant storefront that housed Dominick's for more than three decades.
Hobby Lobby signed a lease for 46,984 square feet at 290 Hawthorn Village Commons, according to Oak Brook-based Inland Real Estate Corp.
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"The addition of Hobby Lobby brings a national tenant to the local community and helps create a well-balanced mix of specialty, local and national retailers at the Hawthorn Village Commons shopping center," said Mike Fitzgerald, director of leasing at Inland Real Estate.
However, filling the vacancy in Vernon Hills now leaves another hole in Mundelein at 4 Oak Creek Plaza near the intersection of routes 45 and 60.
"It's unfortunate that Hobby Lobby is leaving the village," said Victor Barrera, director of planning and development in Mundelein. "Unfortunately, Hobby Lobby is not getting the traffic they would like."
The village is in talks with the owners of Oak Creek Plaza on ways to enhance the center to bring in more traffic, Barrera said.
One problem is the majority of the retailers at the center are too far away from Route 60, he said.
"One of the plans is to possibly tear down the center and bring the retailers closer to Route 60," he said. A residential component may also fit into the new plan.
However, changes can't be made until 2014 when the other anchor at the center, Menard's, ends its lease.
"At that time, Menard's may move somewhere else in the village," Barrera said.
He added that there are serious conversations taking place that Menard's will build an upgraded supercenter near Mundelein Crossing at routes 60 and 176.
Barrera believes that in the end, both Mundelein Crossing and Oak Creek Plaza will see positive improvements.
"We remain optimistic," he said.
He said he is not sure when Hobby Lobby will leave the village. Hobby Lobby did not immediately return phone calls.