After century in Mount Prospect, Busse flower shop bolts for Rolling Meadows
Busse's Flowers & Gifts has been around as long as Mount Prospect itself.
Even longer, since Louis Busse and his son, Fred, opened the business at 303 E. Evergreen in 1916, a year before the village's incorporation.
That association soon will come to an end.
Linda Seils, a Busse family member and fourth-generation owner, said Monday the business is moving from its current location at 100 E. Northwest Hwy. to a new home at 3445 Kirchoff Road in Rolling Meadows.
Seils, who runs the business with her husband, Paul Seils, said they hoped for a Dec. 1 opening in Rolling Meadows, but difficulty in getting the flower cooler moved has made that unlikely. The shop has to be out of its downtown Mount Prospect location by the end of the year, she said.
Seils said the potential redevelopment of the business's current home led to the decision to move.
"The bottom line is the uncertainty of that block," she said. "We know the fire station, we know the police station are (leaving) next year."
In May 2018, Mount Prospect officials announced they would be seeking redevelopment proposals for Block 56, the area bounded by Northwest Highway, Maple Street, Busse Avenue and Emerson Street. The area encompasses the current police and fire headquarters, as well as Busse's Flowers and Emerson's Ale House.
At the time, Ed Busse, the manager of the company that owns the Busse's Flowers building, said, "Our renters are scared, not sleeping at night and will probably move."
Despite guarantees their business wouldn't be forced out, the Seils decided not to chance it and found a new home.
"I guess we just wanted to be proactive," Linda Seils said. "We wanted to make sure that all of a sudden they don't come to us and say you have got a month to get out of here.
"We wanted to stay in Mount Prospect. We really did," she said.
She said she, her husband and their daughter Heather Seils, who eventually will take over the business, searched for another affordable space in Mount Prospect that suited their needs but were unsuccessful.
"Mount Prospect's square-footage retail rates are higher than Arlington Heights' and Rolling Meadows'," she said. "We had to make a change. Our rent is extremely high where we are now. We don't need that much space, and we thought we could use the savings on the rent to do more promoting of the business."
It wasn't an easy decision.
"It's a hard move," she said. "But just because we're moving to Rolling Meadows doesn't mean that we aren't going to continue to be involved in Mount Prospect functions."
However, her husband is resigning from the village's Special Events and Sister Cities commissions, she said.
The space in Rolling Meadows, she said, is smaller but laid out better.
"We don't need that much space since so much of our business is phone and internet," Linda Seils said.
Mayor Arlene Juracek said she learned about the move when Paul Seils sent the letter resigning from the two commissions.
"We're definitely going to miss them, for sure," she said. "A business that's been in town for over a hundred years, and Paul and Linda both being so active in helping our commissions and our various functions, it's really hard to see somebody make a move. But my understanding is the business is now going into their next generation. And so I think every generation has a right to do their own analysis and make their own decisions, and you have to respect what they're doing."
As for Block 56, Juracek said the village has sent out a request for proposals from developers and received three responses.