Mundelein demolishing Lake Street buildings to create lakefront park

Mundelein officials have hired a demolition company to raze four homes and a commercial building that stand in the way of a planned municipal park.

Delta Demolition will take care of the buildings, which run from 602 S. Lake St. to 614 S. Lake St. The company also will remove sidewalks and pavement and restore the site after the job is done.

Seven firms bid for the job. Delta Demolition's $69,000 offer was the least expensive.

Trustees voted this summer to buy the properties for $775,000. They also purchased the two-story Mundelein Apartments building at 516 S. Lake St., just to the north, for nearly $1.6 million.

Officials have proposed turning the entire 3.3-acre site, which occupies about 260 feet of Diamond Lake's shoreline, into a public park.

Aside from a few Mundelein Park District sites, most of the land around the 153-acre lake is privately owned. Opening more of that land to the public is a goal in Mundelein's long-term development plan.

"The park project truly is a game-changing effort," Mayor Steve Lentz said. "With a beautiful and vast lakefront view replacing the current buildings, the image and mood in that part of town will dramatically improve."

Officials hope to demolish the commercial building and the houses this year.

Three tenants occupied the commercial building, and all have moved out.

The houses consist of a traditional single-family house and three smaller cottages. Only one resident remains.

Officials helped the tenants relocate.

Trustees approved the demolition contract with a 4-1 vote. Trustee Dawn Abernathy stood alone in opposition, while Trustee Ray Semple was absent.

Abernathy has strongly criticized the project, saying creating parkland should be the park district's job, not the village's. The fiscal impact concerns Abernathy, too.

"It's money that we should not be spending at this time," she said.

The apartment building could come down in spring 2019. Its demolition will be handled via a separate contract.

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