Could stores, restaurants replace Mundelein's old village hall?
A developer wants to raze Mundelein's old village hall and construct a commercial building on the land.
Frank Dziadus, the president of a Mundelein company called Midwest Masonry, is behind the plan for the site, which occupies less than an acre at 440 E. Hawley St. He would buy the land, knock down the existing building and build something new.
Accompanied by Dziadus, architect Scott Hezner made a public pitch for the project at Monday night's village board meeting.
He described a two-story, 22,950-square-foot building that could hold offices, stores and restaurants. A 7,500-square-foot rooftop patio and dining area is part of the concept, too, along with parking behind the building.
Trustee Scott Black was impressed by what he saw.
"This is a sterling example of the real potential of our downtown," he said.
Trustee Bill Rekus praised the plan, too, saying the building could be an anchor for the downtown area.
"It would make a fantastic addition to our downtown," Rekus said.
The proposal is the first serious redevelopment concept for the property since the village staff moved into a new headquarters at 300 Plaza Circle in 2014.
The building has been mostly unused since then.
The alpine-style building was constructed in 1929 as a village hall and fire station. Through the years, it also was used as a municipal jail and a community center.
The building has an odd interior layout and significant accessibility issues, which has made finding a new purpose for it a challenge.
In 2015, a committee studying the site's potential uses estimated renovating and modernizing the building could cost at least $800,000.
Residents surveyed about the building's fate at that time overwhelmingly opposed spending tax money on the building.
Hezner said it'd take about three months to design the building and nine months to build it, if Dziadus and village officials can agree on a purchase agreement.
Trustee Ray Semple suggested erecting a plaque marking the land as the former village hall site, and several other trustees backed that idea.