Mundelein businesses seek village grants for improvements

  • Hong Kong Chop Suey on Lake Street is one of the latest businesses hoping to get cash from Mundelein's business improvement grant program. The restaurant is seeking nearly $13,000 to help fund landscaping improvements and fencing.

    Hong Kong Chop Suey on Lake Street is one of the latest businesses hoping to get cash from Mundelein's business improvement grant program. The restaurant is seeking nearly $13,000 to help fund landscaping improvements and fencing. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein's Quick Pick Liquors on Midlothian is hoping for grant money to fix up the exterior of the business. The store is seeking a $5,950 grant to help pay for a new sign and landscaping upgrades.

    Mundelein's Quick Pick Liquors on Midlothian is hoping for grant money to fix up the exterior of the business. The store is seeking a $5,950 grant to help pay for a new sign and landscaping upgrades. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 5/6/2016 4:46 PM

An Asian restaurant and a liquor store are the latest businesses hoping to get cash from Mundelein's grant program for local merchants.

Hong Kong Chop Suey, 316 N. Lake St., wants nearly $12,981 to help pay for fencing and landscaping. Additionally, the owner of Quick Pick Liquors, 635 N. Midlothian Road, wants $5,950 to help pay for a new sign and landscaping improvements at the shopping center where the business operates.

 

Trustees will consider the requests at Monday night's village board meeting.

The Business Improvement Grant program launched in 2014 and has a $100,000 annual budget. Instead of getting the money up front, recipients are reimbursed for up to half their expenses, with funding capped at $55,000 per recipient.

Interior renovations, landscaping changes and lighting improvements are among the projects that qualify.

So far, the village has pledged more than $82,000 through the grant program.

"We have set aside these grant funds to help business owners improve the look of their property, which in turn helps to enhance the overall look of our village," Mayor Steve Lentz said. "Whether it's sign replacement or landscaping enhancement, our board encourages all businesses to take a look at our BIG program to see if it's a fit for them."

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Ling Li Tao, the owner of Hong Kong Chop Suey, is planning "major improvements" at the restaurant, coinciding with a parking lot expansion that was approved last year, according to village documents.

The entire improvement project is estimated to cost nearly $114,615, but only some of that is eligible for reimbursement through the grant program, officials said.

As for Quick Pick Liquors, owner Sanjay Jethva wants to replace a pole sign and improve the landscaping in the northern part of the West Town Shoppes shopping center, which is the portion he owns, village documents indicate.

Jethva intends to rename that part of the center Q Plaza.

The overall project is expected to cost nearly $16,500, documents indicate.

Trustee Ray Semple is pleased with how the grant program has been received so far. But as demand for funding through the program increases, he hopes officials become pickier when it comes to handing out cash.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Financial cutbacks at village hall may also prompt extra scrutiny of applications, he said.

"You can't say yes to everybody," Semple said. "Maybe we need to step back and be a little more selective as time goes on."

Monday's meeting is set for 7 p.m. at village hall, 300 Plaza Circle.

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