Could old Mundelein village hall become a restaurant?

  • Mundelein officials have yet to decide what to do with the old village hall building on Hawley Street.

      Mundelein officials have yet to decide what to do with the old village hall building on Hawley Street. Mick Zawislak | Staff Photographer

  • A new report provides ideas for Mundelein's old village hall.

      A new report provides ideas for Mundelein's old village hall. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer

Updated 3/24/2015 10:46 AM

Could the Alpine-style building that until last year served as Mundelein's village hall be turned into an upscale restaurant?

Or will it be torn down and the land sold for some future development project?


These are just two of the options being considered for the 85-year-old structure at 440 E. Hawley St.

Other suggestions in a report released Monday include turning the site into a cultural arts center, a community resource center or a park.

Members of a committee that's studied the issue since last fall told the village board about the options they've developed during a lengthy presentation Monday night.

The group's top recommendations were a restaurant or arts center. But either project, members noted, will be expensive -- possibly more than $800,000 at the high end.

The old building had served as the village's headquarters since 1929. The current village hall at 300 Plaza Circle opened in June 2014.

Led by Trustee Robin Meier, the committee included residents, an architect, village staffers and people interested in historic preservation.

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Committee member Joyce Becker Lee spoke to the board Monday about turning the building into an arts center. It could be a public gathering place, a site for small theater productions and a draw for the local economy, she said.

Committee member Dan Arends talked about the restaurant option. Such an operation could increase foot traffic in the area, he said.

It has plenty of parking and is close to several existing restaurants, which could create a restaurant row, Arends said.

"This use could catapult further development," he said.

Of course, each of these options has a price tag.

Committee member Craig Phillips said restoring the building for public use could cost $781,931. And restoring the building for a tenant could cost $850,816, Phillips said.

Demolishing the structure could cost $158,000, he said.

Residents surveyed about the building's fate overwhelmingly opposed spending tax money on the building, according to the committee report.


About half the people who took the survey wanted to save the building, the report said, while the other half thought it should be demolished or sold.

After the presentation, trustee asked questions about the options presented.

Trustee Ray Semple said a restaurant sounds great but that a restaurateur would need to come forward soon.

Trustee Ed Sullivan was critical of repurposing the building, saying "it just seems impossible to do anything with that building."

The 81-page report will be posted on the village's website, Residents and business owners can share their opinions at village board meetings April 13 and 27. The board could decide the issue at the April 27 meeting.

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