DOWNERS GROVE – Downtown Downers Grove mainstay The Quilt Basket closed its doors for good May 31.
"We were very sad to see [owner Connie Bauer] close her business," Downtown Downers Grove Management Corporation Linda Kunze said. "It drew ladies in from all over the area. It's a shame, we feel it's a loss to the town."
The business, 1012 Curtiss St., sold fabrics and other quilt supplies, and had been open since at least 2000, but Kunze did not have an exact date.
"Due to high rent costs and unsuccessful rent negotiations, I have decided to close The Quilt Basket," Bauer wrote in a post on the business website this spring announcing the going-out-of-business sale. Bauer could not be reached for comment.
The closing is the latest change in the downtown shopping district that has seen a steady amount of openings, closings and relocations in the last year.
The Quilt Basket's neighboring business, Gallery's Choice, will soon move to 926 Warren Ave. for more space, Kunze said.
Kunze said the management corporation is seeking good tenants for those two soon-to-vacated space, along with the former My Favorite Toy Store location, among others. The toy store closed Dec. 31 after its bank declined to offer a payment plan and instead took a lump-sum payment on long-term business loans.
"I have four or five people looking at different spaces and we're working with the property owners to bring in the best possible tenants, something the town would really like to see," she said.
She said there are several businesses that have signed leases for the downtown area and could arrive soon, but were too early to announce.
One that is further along in the process is a new restaurant named the Caribbean Corner. Its owner has already begin selling food at the weekend farmers market downtown. The restaurateur hopes to open her store front at 4948 Main St. by the end of July, Kunze said.
The amorphous nature of the downtown business district is indicative of how difficult it can be to run a small business, she said.
"I think with the state of Illinois and taxes and everything that's going on with online shopping, I think it hurts the businesses a little bit," she said. "Our [local] businesses are the ones who support the community, support the schools, the Boys Scouts and Girls Scouts and all the nonprofits in the community.
"I always like to support our businesses because they are the heart of our community and the downtown."