Plan for office and banquet business draws questions in Mundelein
A Mundelein entrepreneur's plan to open co-working office space that would double as a banquet facility has drawn some support from village officials -- but also a lot of questions.
Lawrence Goodwin wants to open the Office Clubhouse in a vacant, 2,000-square-foot building at 914 N. Lake St. The spot is north of Route 176 and formerly operated as the Creative Artists Hair and Nail Salon.
During the day, it would be a place where professionals could gather to work in an office environment, Goodwin told the village board Monday night. It would offer high-speed internet, printing and copying, a coffee bar and other services.
Clients would pay a membership fee.
At night and on weekends, the facility could be rented for private or corporate events. Goodwin cited professional training meetings, office holiday parties and pre-wedding hair styling sessions as examples.
"We want to be able to do boutique-type events," Goodwin said. "We're not the big-box banquet (hall) that you would think of."
Goodwin proposed an 850-square-foot expansion to the building. He also wants to improve the landscaping, replace a sidewalk, add a deck and re-stripe a small parking lot, among other changes.
That small parking lot worries village staffers and trustees. It has only five spaces, including one for people with disabilities.
In response, Goodwin said he's talking with the owners of nearby businesses about using their parking spaces.
Officials also have concerns about noise from customers, liquor sales and plans to sell cigars and allow cigar smoking outdoors.
Trustee Robin Meier said the relative lack of parking was "a major drawback." She doesn't want customers parking in front of nearby homes.
Still, she's a fan of the co-working concept.
"I wish this had been available when I was working," Meier said.
Trustee Dawn Abernathy voiced concerns about parking, trash accumulation and the logistics of limited liquor sales. But she also said she loved the office space plan.
"It brings a (business) incubator-type atmosphere to the village," she said.
Following Monday's discussion, officials postponed votes that would move the plan forward. They asked Goodwin to address the various concerns and return at an unspecified date for more discussion.
Mayor Steve Lentz said he's intrigued by Goodwin's plan and wants to do "everything we can to make this work."