Mundelein to purchase vacant lot on Park Street as part of plans for the block

A vacant lot next to a colorful mural depicting life in Mundelein soon will belong to the village.

The village board on Monday agreed to buy the downtown parcel at 22 E. Park St. from a trust. The land will cost taxpayers $55,000.

Officials hope to use the 4,000-square-foot, grassy spot - once home to a business called the Brown Bag Deli, long since demolished - as a public gathering space. It's on the same stretch of Park Street officials closed to automobile traffic last year so restaurants on the block could serve more customers outdoors.

Trustees are planning to close that part of Park Street, which is just east of Route 45, for the same purpose this year once the weather is warm enough.

"It just makes sense to plan for more public use in that area," Mayor Steve Lentz said before Monday's unanimous vote.

The lot is east of Area Coffee, 18 E. Park St. Tina G's and Park Street Restaurant also operate on the block.

As part of the plan, portable barriers and planters will be used to keep cars from driving onto the block. Directional signs and promotional banners are planned, too.

A decorative archway over Park Street and an overhead light array could be added later.

The lot could be used for more seating, as a space for food trucks or a play area for kids, among other possibilities, officials have said.

The Mundelein mural is on the side of the Area Coffee building. Muralist Giuseppe Percivati, who works under the name Pepe Gaka, painted it in 2018.

Each letter of the village's name features landmarks or characteristic of Mundelein, including Diamond Lake Beach and the logos for Mundelein High School and Carmel Catholic High School.

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