A nearly 100-year-old building in downtown Mount Prospect will be torn down to make room for a new commercial development.
But the new structure will be built along the historic outlines of the Edward Busse Building at the corner of Northwest Highway and Emerson Street, said Nick Papanicholas Jr., president of Nicholas & Associates and its affiliate, Wingspan Development Group.
“We’re going to tear it down and rebuild it in a similar fashion to what it currently is,” he said. “We’re going to make it a little bit bigger.”
Papanicholas said his company considered restoring the existing building, which once housed Busse’s Flowers and Gifts, but there were too many issues to overcome.
The new building, he added, will maintain the masonry detailing of the older structure, including brick and stone accents.
Papanicholas’ group bought the property in September from members of the Busse family for $1.7 million, according to village records.
Meanwhile, existing tenants say they have been notified that their month-to-month leases will not be renewed and they must leave by the end of the month.
One of the tenants, Karen Larock, owner of the Piano Parlor, received an “Illinois notice to terminate month-to-month tenancy,” dated Dec. 16 and effective Jan. 31.
Dawn Fletcher Collins, marketing manager with the Wingspan Development Group, who served the termination notices, said, “Those were month-to-month leases. They were standard tenancy terminations on a regular month-to-month apartment lease. This wasn’t a sheriff at the door evicting people with 30 days. I provided notice and had a conversation with each tenant 43 days in advance on Dec. 19.
“I know these people. I have worked with them and spoken with them on a regular basis.”
She said she has offered to assist them in finding new places.
“I understand it’s certainly not the best time in the world, on one hand, because of the holidays and the cold weather,” she said. “But on the other hand, it is a great time to rent an apartment from the resident’s perspective, because a lot of deals go on during winter. Property managements are in the place of offering things.”
Larock said she will be relocating her teaching business to Heavenly Pianos, 201 W. Central Road in Mount Prospect. She said she has been in the Busse building since 2015.
“I’m going to miss my corner,” she said.
Another couple who rents a part of the building, Corbin Blackwell and Victoria Miller, said they will be scrambling to find an affordable residence. Blackwell said migraines and seizures he’s suffered since a concussion have prevented him from working. Miller said she works part-time at an eyeglasses and contacts business in Arlington Heights.
Built in 1925, the building has been home to businesses including Hilliard Drug Store, an A & P grocery, a dentist’s office and the office of Mount Prospect’s first doctor, Louis Koester.
Papanicholas said the plan is to make the building exclusively commercial and retail.
One existing tenant, Gold + Oak, operated by Papanicholas’ wife Katie, will have a storefront presence in the new building.