DOWNERS GROVE – Big changes are in the works for the corner of Grove and Main streets in downtown Downers Grove.
Oakley Home Builders and Tartan Realty Group recently bought the one-story, former Carleson paint building at 5216 Main St., and plan to add a second level.
Oakley would move its offices from its current 4912 Main St. location to the new second floor, and would look with Tartan to fill the first floor with a retail tenant, Oakley announced in a press release.
"We are excited for this opportunity to update yet another downtown facility," the press release stated. "While we will be keeping our previous location as a showroom of our custom home product, this will give our growing business the necessary space for expansion. This new location will allow Oakley to better serve existing and future client partners."
Oakley and Tartan are in the process of interviewing possible first-floor tenants.
Downtown Downers Grove Management Corporation Executive Director Linda Kunze said she's suggested filling the space with either a Mexican or tapas restaurant, if possible. Those were the top two results of a local community survey asking for the most-wanted downtown business additions.
"Anyone that's interested in the space, we'll go to them, talk to them," she said.
According to Oakley Home Builders, the project would also add a new facade to the building, and work will begin sometime this summer.
"Tartan Realty is a very well-respected commercial realtor," Kunze said. "And I think Oakley Home Builders has built some beautiful homes throughout the DuPage area. I think the combo will be beneficial to our town."
Carleson Paint, Glass and Art closed its Downers Grove location in December 2013. It still has locations in Lombard and Wheaton.
Carleson had been in the space since 1956, and in Downers Grove since 1952, co-owner Ken Carleson said.
It was primarily a house paint and wallpaper store when it opened, but transitioned to art supplies and framing as large home centers became popular.
"The home centers got a big cut out of that business," he said. "And the space was too big to support a picture frame and art supply business.
"We have sentimental feelings about (the building). I think Oakley builders will find a good use for it, and I hope it all goes well for them."
Before Carleson Paint, he said he believes the building was originally a blacksmith's shop and then an auto garage.
Principals at Oakley and Tartan did not return calls for comment.