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updated: 5/23/2014 10:50 AM

Mount Prospect chamber finds new home after fire

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  • Centennial Continental Bakery in Mount Prospect, which was forced to move from its old location on Main Street after a fire, continues to operate from a temporary site at 17 W. Prospect Ave. Another displaced occupant, the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce, has found a new home.

       Centennial Continental Bakery in Mount Prospect, which was forced to move from its old location on Main Street after a fire, continues to operate from a temporary site at 17 W. Prospect Ave. Another displaced occupant, the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce, has found a new home.
    Matt Arado | Staff Photographer, Feb. 2014

  • Dawn Fletcher Collins

      Dawn Fletcher Collins

 
 

Dawn Fletcher Collins, executive director of the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce, is looking forward to moving into her new professional home.

The chamber was one of the businesses displaced by a devastating fire in downtown Mount Prospect back in February. Since then, Collins has worked from a spare office inside the Mount Prospect Public Library.

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On June 1, though, the chamber should be open for business at its new location: 662 E. Northwest Hwy.

"I'm really looking forward to it," Collins said. "The library has been incredible -- so welcoming. And working here has been very convenient. But it will be great for us to have our own home again."

The new office is between Route 83 and Mount Prospect Road. Collins said the chamber will occupy a storefront space that faces Northwest Highway.

"It's not a huge space, but it will give us the room that we need," she said. "And I think the visibility will be great."

The fire broke out Feb. 9 in one of a series of adjacent buildings on the 100 block of South Main Street. It destroyed the Sakura Japanese Restaurant and the chamber's office next door. The fire displaced other businesses, like Central Continental Bakery, and a number of residents.

After the fire, the bakery opened in a spare room inside Mount Prospect village hall for a while, then moved into a storefront at 17 W. Prospect Ave., where it continues to operate. Owner Robert Czerniak has said all along that he hopes to move back into his original Main Street building, which he said suffered relatively minor damage in the fire.

Czerniak could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Meanwhile, what will ultimately happen with the other portions of the fire site remains unknown. Dave Strahl, Mount Prospect's assistant village manager, said the property owner and the insurance company are still negotiating a settlement.

"It's essentially a private matter right now, so we're allowing those discussions to happen." Strahl said.

A big question that needs to answered is whether the portion of the building that still stands can be renovated or needs to be torn down, Strahl said.

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