Palatine officials say the village will gain more than a significant business when Studio 41 Home Design Showroom opens in a former Northwest Highway automobile dealership.
Studio 41 executive general manager John Mannion expects the business specializing in home fixtures and décor to open in spring 2019 in the former AC Imports Jaguar dealership, 1410 W. Northwest Highway, just south of Dundee Road. AC Imports ended a 50-year run when it vacated the building in January 2017.
Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz said Studio 41 will improve the northern gateway into the village. He said the business isn’t receiving incentives through a tax increment financing district or other means to take over the 35,000-square-foot structure.
“It’s a big win for us,” Schwantz said. “There’s certain things you can do within a TIF district. You can be creative. But this is outside of a TIF district, so this is truly a partnership where they are looking at Palatine to expand their business. They see the benefits of the traffic flow of Northwest Highway.”
Mannion said Studio 41 was contacted by a Palatine official more than a year ago to gauge potential interest in the former AC Imports building. With locations in Schaumburg, Naperville, Chicago, Glenview, Lincolnwood and Highland Park, Mannion said the company has been looking to tap into a market deeper in the Northwest suburbs.
“This Palatine location on Northwest Highway allows for convenient access to the showroom from Barrington out to Crystal Lake and all the communities surrounding Palatine,” Mannion said.
Studio 41 will have about 25,000 square feet of showroom space in the Northwest Highway building, which Mannion said has easy access and high visibility to the point where even Metra commuters can see it as they ride on nearby railroad tracks.
The former auto dealership’s layout is conducive to being renovated for a business selling decorative hardware, professional kitchen design, lighting, bath tubs, cabinetry, window treatments and more, Mannion said. Studio 41 will have 25 to 30 employees when it opens in Palatine, with the potential to double the staff as business grows.
Palatine Village Manager Reid Ottesen said Studio 41 will be a “tremendous use” for the closed auto dealership.
“It’s a prominent location,” Ottesen said. “We don’t have anything like that whatsoever in Palatine, so it’s not necessarily taking business away from somewhere else.”