The future of one of the oldest buildings in Mount Prospect is largely out of the village's hands, officials said Tuesday as demolition of the historical downtown structure ravaged by a Feb. 9 fire continues this week.
Village Manager Michael Janonis said what happens next to the site that was home to Sakura restaurant, the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce and other businesses is in the hands of a flock of insurance adjusters that have been on the scene.
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"There are tons of insurance adjusters involved in this thing," he said. "It's kind of amazing. It is like ants all over the place."
Janonis said demolition will halt at some point so that adjusters can take pictures and examine what's left of the structure.
"We don't own the building, and so it is between the owner of the building and his insurance company and what he wants to do with it," Janonis said.
Meanwhile, the village is doing what it can. The human services department has been working with the residents of six second-floor apartments who lost their homes in the fire.
"We don't own these structures, and we can only do so much, but I think what we have done has been exemplary in terms of certainly what the fire department did and now what our engineering department has done, and I'm sure Public Works has had a hand, and probably every department has had a hand in this," Trustee Paul Hoefert said. "It's been incredible."
Another example is the case of one of Sakura's neighbors, Central Continental Bakery, which has been selling its goods out of village hall after suffering water damage and losing power.
"People are very complimentary of that, so we're trying. Not everybody will be happy 24/7, but I think we're doing a decent job," Janonis said.
Trustee A. John Korn mentioned one of the benefits of having Central Continental Bakery in the building.
"You got to come to the village hall and smell it. It's got a nice smell in this building," he said, adding that he's never seen so many village staffers on the first floor.
Janonis said the bakery plans to be up and running for its popular Paczki Day.
"I know (the owner) is looking at at least an alternative site, even while he doesn't have electricity here, because they have a wholesale business in Elk Grove and so they can produce and then deliver here and then sell out of the storefront," he said.