Developers interested in Sakura restaurant site in Mt. Prospect
In delivering the 2015 budget proposal for his department to the village board this week, Mount Prospect Community Development Director William Cooney offered some tantalizing glimpses into development prospects for the next year.
Cooney recapped this year's department accomplishments, including making it possible for developers to examine available properties online, as well as a series of Entrepreneur's Cafe meetings.
He also talked about what is in the pipeline, especially for the downtown.
Noting that 2014 was a year of change for the downtown, with the fire last February that destroyed part of the Busse Building, he said that there is considerable interest in such sites as the old Sakura restaurant property that was in part of the building that was razed.
"I have a few individuals that are very interested in pursuing that," Cooney said.
He noted that the old Tri-State Electronics property, 200 W. Northwest Hwy., is being redeveloped. The site, he said, will be able to be occupied by the fall of 2015. It is already about 50 percent leased.
In addition, Cooney noted there is a new owner on the Emerson building, which he said has a dental group going into it, while interest has been expressed in the old Vino 100 spot, 110 S. Emerson St.
"There is a lot of interest in the downtown," Cooney said.
Also, he said, a group is in interested in developing 30,000 square feet with multiple buildings containing a mix of restaurant and retail uses on part of the long-vacant, five-acre Joe Mitchell Buick GMC property at 801 E. Rand Road. On Rand Road north of Central Road, it is the largest vacant commercial property in the village.
In other news from the Rand Road corridor, Cooney said the village would be receiving a $100,000 grant from the Regional Transportation Administration to review the corridor. He said Illinois Department of Transportation representatives would be on a committee that would review such issues as traffic intersection backups and entering and exiting properties.
Trustee John Matuszak asked about whether the department felt it could do more if it had more resources. The budget calls for less than a 1 percent increase to $2.3 million.
Cooney said the village could do more in terms of marketing, but has done well using in-house skills.
Village Manager Michael Janonis chimed in, "A lot of towns give incentives. That's what is a driving mechanism for a lot of economic development. We don't do that, but we still do well."
With a nod to villages that do radio advertising, he said, "I don't think ads get you a lot."