Lake Zurich finalizes agreement to sell, renovate visible downtown corner building

Developer True North must invest at least $1.5 million in the project within two years

Developer True North Properties Inc., will buy and invest at least $1.5 million to improve a prominent village-owned building at Main Street and Old Rand Road in downtown Lake Zurich.

The village board Monday unanimously approved a redevelopment agreement with the Wauconda-based company to buy the building on the northeast corner for $200,000 and complete interior and exterior upgrades within two years of the real estate closing.

True North also will receive up to $100,000 in reimbursements from the special financing district covering the area. Selling and improving the building will increase the value of the entire financing district and create revenue for future uses, according to the village.

True North was chosen by the village from several requests for proposals the village received last summer as being the best fit for what is considered a major project for a highly visible location in the Main Street District. The redevelopment agreement formalizes the obligations of True North and the village.

“We think this is an exciting opportunity for a new Main Street destination and we're confident we found good partners to make this happen,” said Kyle Kordell, management services director.

  Extensive interior and exterior renovations are planned for this building at Old Rand Road and Main Street in downtown Lake Zurich. A shoe repair, gyros restaurant and ice cream shop are tenants. Paul Valade/

The 30-year-old company specializes in converting distressed and underutilized properties. It originally focused exclusively in Chicago but in recent years has been working on projects in Crystal Lake, Huntley and Cary.

In Lake Zurich, the sight line of the corner will be raised, making the buildings seem taller than they do now. Extensive work also is planned for the facade. Interior updates will include full renovations and raised ceilings.

The village acquired the property in 2006 as part of a master development plan and has been renting the spaces.

The agreement with True North includes a stipulation that rent on the three existing businesses — Craving Gyros, Johnny’s Shoe Repair and MyFlavorIt! Place ice cream shop — won't increase more than 10% before June 2025.

True North will meet with them to determine times this summer to begin the exterior building enhancements. Exterior work could be finished by Thanksgiving, Kordell said.

The village will work with True North to minimize construction-related impact to Alpine Fest and Rock the Block community events, he added.

The businesses will have to close for a month or two for interior renovation, but whether or what type of assistance they may get from True North during that time is to be determined.

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