Thrift store seeks larger space on Route 14

Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 8:15 a.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – A Wisconsin-based religious group is seeking permission to open a larger thrift store along Route 14 in Crystal Lake.

Bethesda Lutheran Communities asked the Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Committee on Tuesday for a special-use permit and other zoning variations to open a used merchandise outlet at 7606 Northwest Hwy., near the intersection of routes 14 and 176.

Furniture retailer Classic Oak Designs plans to sell the 1.7-acre property and 19,830-square-foot building to Bethesda. The deal is contingent on the special-use permit, which must be approved by the Crystal Lake City Council, said Jack Vater, corporate director of retail operations for Bethesda Lutheran Communities.

The property is listed for $2.25 million, according to a real estate website.

If sold, Bethesda would move from its existing location in the Crystal Lake Plaza shopping center to the larger space at 7606 Route 14.

Classic Oak Design plans to move to another location with more retail space on Route 14.

“We’d like to stay in Crystal Lake,” said Bob Sturgis, buyer for Classic Oak Designs. “We’re looking at four properties on Route 14.”

Classic Oak Designs, which also has a store in Arlington Heights, has been in Crystal Lake for more than 20 years. The move would allow it to offer a larger selection of furniture, Sturgis said. On Saturday the Crystal Lake store began reducing prices ahead of the planned move.

Bethesda Lutheran Communities, an organization that helps people with disabilities, has more than 20 thrift stores throughout the country, including several in Wisconsin.

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