Vacancies drive conversation of Wilmette’s business-development update

The business vacancy rate in Wilmette continues to improve, but local officials are still pressing to fill noticeable unoccupied storefronts.

Trustees talked through the most-glaring vacancies with Lucas Sivertsen, the village’s business development coordinator, as he gave a presentation during the regular Village Board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

Sivertsen told the board that the vacancy rate has fallen to 8.2 percent, or 34 vacancies among 388 storefronts, a significant decrease from a pandemic high of 11.86 percent in January. The rate was 9.9 percent in May, the last time Sivertsen addressed the board.

Sivertsen said six of Wilmette’s nine business districts have filled vacancies since May, while the other three districts have not lost any tenants in that time.

Much of the conversation focused on the empty Treasure Island storefront just north of Lake Avenue on Ridge Road. 

The grocery store abandoned the location in 2018, and…

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