Construction of a large townhouse development has begun on Mundelein's south side -- and village officials are thrilled.
Wooden framing has gone up for the first homes at the Townes at Oak Creek, which is being built on Townline Road east of Route 45 by Texas-based real estate company D.R. Horton. Building permits have been issued for 45 units so far, Village Administrator Eric Guenther said.
"D.R. Horton has hit the ground running," Guenther said. "We are very excited to see this is progressing so well."
Forty-five buildings containing 222 townhouses are planned at the roughly 33-acre site. So are a public park and a central gathering place for residents.
Townes at Oak Creek is named after a nearby waterway and a shopping center that was razed to make room for the homes.
Oak Creek Plaza 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, and the property became a bleak eyesore.
The townhouses will give that part of Mundelein a dramatically different look, officials have said.
"This development has completely changed the landscape of our southern border," Guenther said.
The homes also should boost retail activity in that part of town. A Jewel, a Panera Bread, a Garden Fresh Market and Elly's Pancake House are just some of the businesses near the development.
"Businesses in southern Mundelein will benefit from having more residents so close," Mayor Steve Lentz said.
Several existing businesses in free-standing buildings near the development -- including Pita Inn and Culver's restaurants -- aren't part of the project and will remain.