Long-sought revival of former industrial area on north side of Mundelein's downtown is underway
Demolition to prepare a site for what Mundelein officials say will be a transformative development in the northern part of downtown is well underway.
Morris Station calls for 139 townhouses across 16 buildings in an area straddling the Canadian National tracks between Morris and Seymour avenues from Route 176 south to Park Street.
Several industrial type buildings had been located in the area and the village since the mid-1990s has targeted it for revival with a mix of residential and commercial uses.
Local officials with representatives of the developers, Sterling Hall LLC, Hawthorne Management Services and Morris Station LLC, held a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday.
"We've reached an important milestone to redevelop a former industrial part of town," said Mayor Steve Lentz. He said the project will introduce housing that currently is unavailable.
"Residents will be within walking distance to many businesses and will constitute a welcome and new customer base," he said.
According to the village, the townhouse project will improve the experience for those entering downtown from the north and be a complementary use to single-family residential areas to the east.
By Friday afternoon, a single-family home, 10-unit apartment building, the former Best Car Care -- which had long been a used car dealership -- and a Quonset hut that housed a variety of uses since being installed in the 1940s, had been removed.
All the structures were east of the tracks. The village in 2016 bought the former Bradco Supply Corp. which occupied the southern half of the property east of the tracks, and in 2019 acquired the former Alan Josephsen Recycling Center, which spanned the western side. Both were demolished.
Smaller residential projects had been pitched for portions of the site. But what became Morris station, a combination of public and private properties in a single, unified development, began taking root about two years ago.
Among the project details are attached garages accessed by alleys; 1 to 3-bedroom units ranging from 526 square feet to 1,356 square feet respectively; pockets of open space on three corners and a small dog run on the eastern portion.
Mundelein will design and build sanitary and storm sewers, water mains, roads, sidewalks and landscaping on Morris and Seymour avenues and Park Street.
In addition, village incentives amount to about $1 million in impact fees, $100,000 in permit fees, reduction in land costs and a $2.1 million reimbursement through tax increment financing for land acquisition, demolition and other eligible costs.