Real estate experts to suggest options for Mundelein's Townline corridor

  • Many of the storefronts in the Oak Creek Plaza on Route 60 in Mundelein are vacant. Village officials have commissioned a study concerning redevelopment in the area.

      Many of the storefronts in the Oak Creek Plaza on Route 60 in Mundelein are vacant. Village officials have commissioned a study concerning redevelopment in the area. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein officials have hired a group of real estate experts to come up with redevelopment options for the stretch of Townline Road that runs through town. It's mostly a commercial corridor.

      Mundelein officials have hired a group of real estate experts to come up with redevelopment options for the stretch of Townline Road that runs through town. It's mostly a commercial corridor. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Once a thriving shopping center, Mundelein's Oak Creek Plaza now stands mostly vacant.

      Once a thriving shopping center, Mundelein's Oak Creek Plaza now stands mostly vacant. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • This Panera Bread restaurant opened in 2017 near the northeast corner of route 45 and 60 in Mundelein. Officials want to attract more businesses to the Route 60 corridor and are hiring a nonprofit group of experts to help develop ideas.

    This Panera Bread restaurant opened in 2017 near the northeast corner of route 45 and 60 in Mundelein. Officials want to attract more businesses to the Route 60 corridor and are hiring a nonprofit group of experts to help develop ideas. Courtesy of Mundelein 2017

 
 
Updated 2/28/2018 7:24 PM

A team of real estate experts will help Mundelein officials identify redevelopment strategies for the town's south-side commercial corridor.

The Urban Land Institute has agreed to conduct a study of the businesses -- and business opportunities -- along Mundelein's portion of Townline Road, also known as Route 60. The work, approved by the village board Monday night, will cost the village $20,000.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Based in Washington, D.C., the institute is a nonprofit network of real estate and land use professionals. It develops land use policies aimed at "creating and sustaining thriving communities," according to its website.

In the Chicago suburbs, the group has studied Gurnee's East Grand Avenue corridor and a stretch of Irving Park Road in Hanover Park.

Mundelein Mayor Steve Lentz is eager for the institute to tackle the Townline corridor.

"The Urban Land Institute will bring a fresh set of objective and unbiased experts to help (create a vision for) that corridor," Lentz said. "The challenges there are great, and I very much look forward to their input and conclusions."

Mundelein's portion of Townline Road runs between Butterfield Road and the merged Route 60/83. It includes several shopping centers, most notably Townline Square on the northeast corner of routes 45 and 60.

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The mostly vacant Oak Creek Plaza, which long has been in limbo because of the former owner's bankruptcy and foreclosure, is in the corridor, too, near the southeast corner of routes 45 and 60.

"Oak Creek Plaza has been the single most frustrating parcel in town to work with in the village," Mundelein Trustee Ray Semple said. "My fingers are crossed to finally see some action on that site, which can be a catalyst for the whole area."

The corridor has seen some redevelopment, including the renovation of Townline Square, the addition of Pita Inn and Panera Bread restaurants, and the construction of a CVS pharmacy.

But a more robust redevelopment of the corridor has been stymied by what Village Administrator John Lobaito called a "lack of realistic participation from existing stakeholders."

Village officials applied for the institute to study the corridor last fall. The group doesn't accept every request.

Institute members will examine the corridor in early April and recommend redevelopment options, village documents indicate. The study could involve real estate brokers, developers, engineers, traffic experts and other professionals.

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