If you walked past the ghost town of a mall on Townline Road east of Route 45 in Mundelein and wondered when the hell someone was going to raze the thing and do something new with the property , do not ask yourself the question.
The village council on Monday approved a redevelopment deal with real estate giant DR Horton that paves the way for a large townhouse complex called the Townes in Oak Creek.
“(This is) a very historic evening in the life of our village,” Mayor Steve Lentz said ahead of the mayoral vote. “It’s very exciting.”
The proposed development takes its name from the plaza it will replace and a nearby waterway. Forty-five buildings containing 222 townhouses are planned, along with a public park and a central gathering place for residents.
The square has been Mundelein’s biggest and most visible visual nuisance for years.
The approximately 33-acre site was once a thriving shopping center, with a Menards home improvement store, a Hobby Lobby craft store and numerous other retailers. But over time, these and other stores disappeared and were not replaced.
Texas-based DR Horton is the nation’s largest homebuilder by volume. Crews will begin demolition work within 60 days of the issuance of permits, company representative Chris Funkhouser told the board on Monday.
The foundations should be poured by the end of the year, Funkhouser said. The entire complex could be completed in 36 to 48 months.
Several businesses located in freestanding buildings near the square, including the Pita Inn and Culver restaurants, are not part of the property and will remain so after the site is redeveloped by DR Horton. An XFactor Trampoline attraction that is in a freestanding showcase will also remain.