As a resident of Mundelein for the past 25 years, Wally Frasier's answer to my questions about downtown was what got my vote for mayor. He said Mundelein has several downtowns and a new one, Cardinal Square, is in the offing. Each, he said, needs a different kind of attention.
The Lake Street and Diamond Lake Road Center is rapidly filling up and doesn't need much from the village. The Target/Home Depot center needs support in exploring incentives to attract and incorporate new businesses. Cardinal Square is different, he said. We do not want it to become orphaned buildings stuck off by the train station. It needs oversight to ensure it stays on track and within budget, to ensure that it becomes part of our 'old' downtown rather than displacing it.
I was also impressed when he talked about the need for a long-range plan to unify the look of downtown. I have always thought Lake Street doesn't look like a town center, but like a jumble of buildings from different decades.
He feels that a street scape like that on Route 45, Park and Seymour could be extended to include Hawley and would help to unify the "Old Downtown" business district. When I said it would be too expensive, he said the first priority has to be getting the existing storefronts occupied, paying taxes and employing people. Then the affected business owners can decide how to move forward.
When I told him everyone is saying the village is hostile to business, he responded, "There is nothing wrong with the village staff. They just need a mayor committed to reviving the Mundelein business community."