Mundelein buys land in downtown area for $200,000

With an eye on redevelopment, Mundelein officials are buying land in the downtown area.

Trustees on Monday approved the purchase of 538 N. Morris Ave., a nearly three-acre site just north of Park Street. The site will cost the village $200,000.

A 14,700-square-foot building there has stood vacant for more than five years. It formerly held ABC Roofing Supply. Before that, the building was home to the Hill Behan Lumber Co.

Officials pursued the land as part of their ongoing downtown redevelopment plan. The acquisition enables the village to better guide future development there and throughout the downtown business district, officials said.

"The price was very attractive and we are optimistic that it can be redeveloped for the betterment of downtown," Trustee Ray Semple said.

Village hall won't redevelop the site. Rather, officials will find a company interested in such a project.

"We are not developers and we recognize that," Mayor Steve Lentz said. "But the board determined that it is in the best interests of our residents that we obtain ownership in order to facilitate redevelopment of the site. It's been vacant a long time now, and the board wants to see that site redeveloped sooner than later."

Residential and retail developments are part of the overall plan for the downtown area.

"Our vision for Mundelein's downtown is to transform the space into a vibrant, active, attractive, walkable, mixed-use area," Lentz said.

The fate of the building on the Morris Avenue property is in the hands of whoever buys it, Lentz said.

Late last year, the village purchased a parking lot on the 400 block of North Seymour Avenue in the downtown area to ensure parking opportunities for customers of local businesses.

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  Mundelein officials are buying land on Morris Avenue with hopes of better guiding future redevelopment. Steve Lundy/
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