Mundelein hires builder for $1.3 million park on Courtland Street
A plan to build a public park near a man-made prairie in Mundelein took a big step forward late Monday night.
The village board voted to hire Synergy Construction Group of Chicago to build the $1.3 million park on the 400 block of East Courtland Street, just east of Seymour Avenue. A state grant will cover the cost, Village Administrator Eric Guenther revealed.
To be called Courtland Commons, the park will be built southwest of a roughly 8-acre detention pond that was part of a nearly $9.2 million flood-control project. Since the pond's completion last year, it has become a diverse ecosystem with abundant vegetation and a plethora of insects, mammals, birds and other creatures.
The former headquarters of U.S. Music Corp. was torn down to make room for the pond and the park.
The park will feature a gateway entrance on Seymour Avenue, planters, benches, a paved area for performances, decorative lighting and other elements.
"It is intended for Courtland Commons to be an attractive, urban open space for year-round enjoyment," Amanda Orenchuk, the village's community and economic development director, said in a memo to the board.
To honor the site's history as a musical instrument factory, a long, thin promenade that would resemble a guitar neck and frets when viewed overhead is planned, too.
A raised performance stage was included in initial plans but was eliminated to reduce costs, Orenchuk told the village board Monday night. A proposed butterfly garden was dropped as well.
Even with those changes, Trustee Erich Schwenk said he loved the plan.
"It's a beautiful park," Schwenk said.
The property will continue to host the Mundelein Community Days festival each summer. Shah Quaiyoom, a member of the volunteer commission that oversees the festival, called it "a great venue."
Synergy recently inked a redevelopment agreement with the village board that calls for a four-story apartment building on Plaza Circle just south of village hall, not far from the Courtland Commons site.
Officials had sought bids from construction companies for the job but got no offers, Orenchuk said in her memo. They then offered the job to Synergy, hoping its involvement with both projects could save the village some money, she said.