'A very exciting evening': Mundelein approves redevelopment plan for languishing Oak Creek Plaza

  • Mundelein's Oak Creek Plaza has stood mostly vacant for years. It soon will be demolished and replaced with townhouses.

      Mundelein's Oak Creek Plaza has stood mostly vacant for years. It soon will be demolished and replaced with townhouses. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2018

 
 
Updated 3/30/2022 10:04 PM

If you've driven past the ghost town of a shopping center on Townline Road east of Route 45 in Mundelein and wondered when the heck someone was going to bulldoze the thing and do something new with the property, wonder no more.

The village board on Monday approved a redevelopment agreement with real estate giant D.R. Horton that paves the way for a large townhouse complex to be called the Townes at Oak Creek.

 

"(It's) a very historic evening in the life of our village," Mayor Steve Lentz said before the vote at village hall. "It's very exciting."

The proposed development gets its name from the plaza it will replace and a nearby waterway. Forty-five buildings containing 222 townhouses are planned, as well as a public park and a central gathering place for residents.

The plaza has been Mundelein's largest and most visible eyesore for years.

The roughly 33-acre site once was a thriving shopping venue, with a Menards home improvement store, a Hobby Lobby crafts store and many other retailers. But over time, those stores and others departed and weren't replaced.

Based in Texas, D.R. Horton is the largest homebuilder by volume in the nation. Crews will begin demolition work within 60 days as soon as permits are issued, company representative Chris Funkhouser told the board Monday.

Foundations should be poured by the end of the year, Funkhouser said. The entire complex could be finished within 36 to 48 months.

Several businesses in free-standing buildings near the plaza -- including Pita Inn and Culver's restaurants -- aren't part of the property and will remain after D.R. Horton redevelops the site. An XFactor Trampoline attraction that's in an independently owned storefront will stay, too.

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