Plan for co-working business approved in Mundelein
A plan to open co-working office space on Mundelein's north side has cleared the village board.
Dubbed the Office Clubhouse, the operation is proposed for 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.
Entrepreneur Lawrence Goodwin has said the facility will be a place professionals can gather to work in an office environment. It will offer high-speed internet, printing and copying, a coffee bar and other services, Goodwin has said.
Clients will pay a membership fee.
Additionally, the second floor of the building will be turned into a small residential apartment, Goodwin said.
Goodwin scrapped plans to offer banquet services at the facility at night and on weekends. He also withdrew plans to sell cigars and liquor at the business.
The village board on Monday approved several requests from Goodwin for variations from Mundelein building codes. Among them, the board said garbage containers will be allowed to be stored inside a shed on the property.
Trustee Ray Semple said the Office Clubhouse plan reflects a growing need for white-collar office space.
"He's looking to provide a space for folks who work from home to go to so there are no distractions," Semple said. "Oftentimes I am on very important calls with co-workers and clients and someone has a barking dog in the background, which can be distracting."
Mayor Steve Lentz believes the business will bring more people into the business corridor along Lake Street.
"More people means more transactions, and that's good for everyone, particularly the restaurants," Lentz said.
In addition to approving the code variations, trustees on Monday awarded Goodwin a $38,708 grant through a village business incentive program.
Goodwin has proposed extensive interior and exterior improvements to the property totaling $180,828, village documents indicate, and the cash will partially reimburse him for that work once it's completed.
Landscaping, paving, electrical and plumbing improvements are among the planned changes.
Although he voted to give Goodwin the grant, Semple questioned its size and whether the village will benefit from the investment.
He suggested it's time to re-examine the incentive program and be more particular about the potential recipients.
"A clear benefit to the community (should be) easily recognized," Semple said. "We should be able to tighten our standards a bit and raise the bar a notch or two."
Goodwin hopes to open the business in spring 2018, officials said.