Grayslake's downtown is expected to receive a dramatic appearance boost through the renovation of a vacant 98-year-old building.
Village board trustees voted 5-0 this week in favor of a $100,000 economic development incentive agreement with Grayslake-based Nage One LLC to revitalize what's commonly known as the Cupola building at 2 S. Lake St. Nage One's Jay Kolli said a banquet facility will open in the structure.
Grayslake officials said the deal with Nage One is justified because the renovation will be for a new business bringing jobs and economic activity to downtown.
Trustee Bruce Bassett said the economic development incentive is similar to a facade grant program the village previously offered to downtown businesses making building improvements.
"It will take an existing building and dramatically improve the look of our downtown," Bassett said of Nage One's plan. "It will also provide for economic development. So this is not as new of a thing as it might seem."
Built in 1916, the vacant and tired-looking Cupola building originally was an automobile dealership and repair shop where Center Street ends at Lake Street in downtown Grayslake.
According to "Grayslake: A Historical Portrait," published by the village's historical society, the Brandstetter family owned the building's first business.
At the time, the Brandstetters were associated with cars and saloons.
Car businesses occupied the structure for roughly its first 50 years.
It later became a place for ventures such as a hair salon, gymnastics center, hardware store and flea market.
Kolli said Friday that old pictures will be studied to help Nage One return the Cupola building to its original appearance.
He told the Daily Herald he expects the work to include placing lattice windows toward the top of the edifice.
"It'll be a good downtown destination," Kolli said.
Plans call for the banquet hall to accommodate about 200 guests, with completion targeted for next spring.
Kolli said the facility won't have a full-fledged kitchen, but will provide a food preparation area.