The old Kmart building on Rand Road in Lake Zurich -- basically an eyesore the last 16 years -- will be demolished next month.
The building's owner, New Jersey-based Garden Homes Inc., will begin tearing it down the week of Sept. 3, according to the village.
Community Development Director Sarosh Saher said Garden Homes decided to demolish the building after learning the village was in the process of getting a court order to force them to do it.
Garden Homes acquired the building to redevelop the 7.25-acre site, a plan approved by the village board in March 2017. The plan calls for a development that includes 162 apartments and 19,000 square feet of retail or commercial space.
"We've been strongly encouraging Garden Homes to demolish the building and for construction on the project to begin for roughly the last 18 months," Lake Zurich Mayor Thomas Poynton said. "They've exhausted the patience of both the community and the village, and enough is enough."
Demolishing the 80,000-square-foot building at 225 S. Rand Road is expected to take three weeks.
Garden Homes development director Mark Hoffman did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday.
The clock is ticking for Garden Homes to start building. If it doesn't start before March 2019, it runs the risk of losing zoning approval and having to start the process anew, Village Manager Ray Keller said. He added Garden Homes could also sell the property to a more motivated developer.
Keller said Garden Homes can make a request to extend the March 2019 deadline and, if so, will have to clearly explain how another delay in construction would benefit the village.
Saher said Garden Homes has not yet requested an extension. An extension can be granted by Keller without needing the input of the board, but Saher said because of the nature and magnitude of the project, such a decision will be made in consultation with village staff members, the board and the community.
The Kmart operated about 20 years. It was shut down along with 282 other stores in 2002.
The closest the property came to redevelopment before now was in 2007 when a Barrington developer informally proposed a mixed-used development anchored by a hotel, condominiums, restaurants and a health spa, according to the village. That project was never submitted to the village for approval.
The village fielded inquiries from some developers over the years who were interested in using the existing building, but nothing came to fruition.