Can new developer make something happen at Mundelein soybean field?
Trying to succeed where others gave up, a real estate group has proposed building houses, a gas station and restaurants at a busy Mundelein intersection.
An outfit called BSTP Midwest is eyeing nearly 23 acres on the north side of Midlothian Road and Route 60/83 for their project. A gas station operated at the intersection until it was demolished in 2005.
The triangular property is a farmed soybean field now. The site is in unincorporated Lake County but would be annexed into Mundelein if the plans progress.
BSTP Midwest has proposed a gas station, a convenience store and buildings for restaurants or other businesses on about 5 acres on the southern end of the land.
Thorntons already has signed on for the fuel sales and convenience store, BSTP Midwest representative Troy Paionk told the village board Monday during a public presentation of the plan.
To the north, 40 houses on nearly 14 acres are planned. They'd be built by K. Hovnanian Homes, which has handled other residential projects in Mundelein.
One- and two-story houses are proposed, ranging from 1,700 square feet to 3,000 square feet, said K. Hovnanian Homes representative Steven Gardiner.
The residential development would be an extension of the Orchard Meadows subdivision just north of the site, Gardiner said. His company built those houses on what once was the Quig's Orchard property.
The village board took no formal action on the proposal Monday. Most trustees supported the plan, but Trustee Kara Lambert was hesitant. She said she fears 40 houses and a gas station will create more traffic in the area.
The intersection already is "a debacle" during rush hour, she said.
A lack of crosswalks on Midlothian Road for school-age children also is a problem for Lambert.
"This just makes me so leery," she said.
Mayor Steve Lentz suggested installing crosswalks and leaving some open space between the two parts of the proposed development to connect new restaurants with nearby residents.
"I think it would greatly benefit that community to be able to walk easily and get to those commercial sites," he said.
Entrepreneurs have unsuccessfully tried to redevelop the 23-acre site before, most recently in 2016.
That plan, pushed by a group called MJS Development, called for a gas station at the southern tip of the site and houses, apartments or townhouses on the bulk of the land. A building suitable for a restaurant was mentioned as well.
But the village board's reaction at the time was mixed and the plan never came to fruition.