Although a Carbondale restaurant recently closed on Illinois 13, Carbondale City Manager Gary Williams doesn’t think the property will sit vacant for long.
Lonestar closed its doors on Jan. 20, according to a sign on its doors. However, the property is along the busiest corridor in Carbondale and has great visibility from the road, something that major national companies like to see when choosing a new location.
“I think the property is still very visible and is surrounded by other traffic-generating businesses,” Williams said. “I would expect it won’t sit vacant for long.”
He said the city continues to get interest from national companies, specifically restaurants that are interested in the area, but the challenge has been finding a prime location. He said one of the biggest items on those company’s checklists is visibly and traffic counts.
Williams said Illinois 13 on the east side of Carbondale sees about 30,000 cars a day, and the property where the Lonestar building sits has great access points.
“It has all the characteristics of a site that restaurants and other national tenants are looking for,” he said.
He said the city wasn’t notified when the business shut down and that it came as a surprise to many in city hall.
Williams said the property is listed as being owned by Sovereign LS III, LLC, out of Palo Alto, California.
As for other vacant properties in Carbondale, Williams said the former Horizon Inn property is in the process of being appraised and the city is close to placing a “for sale” sign on the property.
“I’m pretty optimistic about that property as well,” he said. “It is zoned secondary business, so it can accommodate many uses.”
He said retail probably wouldn’t be the best use, but since it is 7.7 acres with good visibility, it lends itself to many different uses.
The city has about $600,000 invested in the property, but Williams said the city’s biggest interest is to get a business in there that is generating revenue and creating jobs.