After a string of local business closings over the past year, real estate broker Theresa Schulz is excited to see new a renewed interest in the Lemont area.
Schulz, who manages Lemont Village Square—located at the intersection of State and 127th streets—and Lemont Centennial Plaza, announced Thursday that she has secured several new businesses to open later this year. She is also in final negotiations with two restaurants, which she hopes to announce in the coming weeks.
"It's been a very busy few months, but we're excited to have some new businesses moving into the Lemont area," said Schulz, who is the managing broker for Schulz Properties in Downers Grove.
ATI specializes in physical therapy, sports medicine, work conditioning and hardening, and women's health. It boasts more than 150 locations in six states, including more than 70 in Illinois and a corporate office in Bolingbrook.
Schulz said the company is building a 3,000-square-foot facility that will open in the next two months.
ATI will join Jewel-Osco, Kitaro Grill and Sushi Lounge, Nancy's Pizza, PC's Pancake Cafe and Hallmark in Centennial Plaza. NightBlue Performing Arts Company is set to open a small theater in the old Blockbuster Video location in May or June.
Also joining Centennial Plaza this year is Air 1 Wireless, a Sprint retail and service center.
Although Air 1 Wireless currently operates out of a space in the Chipain's plaza, 1054 State St., Schulz said the owner recently signed a lease for a larger space that will accomodate a "new, larger concept in Lemont."
In the coming weeks, Schulz hopes to announce two new restaurants, which she said are "national chains that will be of great benefit to the community."
"I'm in final negotiations with a couple of restaurants, so I can't disclose the information just yet. But they are national concepts and I think it would be a really great thing for Lemont," she said.
After a string of business closings over the past year that included Sears Hardware and Appliance, Montefiori, Slammers Pub and Grill, and Salon Moda, the new developments are a refreshing change of pace, Schulz said.
"My family is from Lemont, so I love this community and think it has a lot to offer people looking to start a business," she said.
Schulz, who manages properties across the Chicago suburbs, said this spring has been one of her busiest to date.
"There's been a tremendous amount of interest in this area," she said. "Last year was my busiest; I brought 43 new businesses into several towns. This year has been busier, in my opinion."
Goodwill is set to open a 21,000-square-foot retail and donation center in the former Sears Hardware location, 1146 State St., later this year.
Goodwill stores sell previously donated items such as clothing, kitchen accessories and more. The garden center in the former Sears will be turned into a donation center for residents to drop off used items.
Village officials said the company signed a long-term lease and plans to put about $1 million in improvements to the current building.
Reaves said the village has been working recently with several companies, including major retailers, that are interested in bringing their business to Lemont. He hopes to announce three additional businesses in the coming weeks.
"There's a lot of stuff going on. I wish I could announce everything that comes across my desk ... on a weekly basis," he said. "Some stuff is pie in the sky, some stuff is exciting, some stuff you look at and think, 'Could we pull that off? Could we not pull that off?' There are a lot of opportunities that may have been once looked over in Lemont, that major retailers are looking differently because they are downsizing the size of what retail is."