Ulta Beauty is closing its downtown Naperville store.
Daily Herald file photo

In Naperville’s ever-evolving downtown, a few vacant storefronts have popped up along high-profile Washington Street.

The Barnes & Noble bookstore, a two-level destination business, closed in January after 25 years downtown. Farther north on Washington, the Ulta Beauty store plans to close at the end of the month.

“I think a lot of the large national retailers are looking at their retail footprint to determine what’s going to be best for them as they are in a new economy,” Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli said. “I think the space they are leaving is going to be a highly desirable spot in our downtown, and I look forward to filling it soon.”

There is active interest across downtown, the occupancy rate is high, and interest in “Main Street America” is even higher, said Katie Wood, executive director of the Downtown Naperville Alliance.

“The retail and restaurant landscape is constantly evolving — not just in Naperville — but all across the country,” Wood said in a statement. “Numerous factors come into play for why a business may close. Although we are always sad to see a business close, we are equally optimistic about what is to come.”

A Kendra Scott jewelry store is slated to open early this summer on the Main Street Promenade. Kendra Scott joins other recent additions to downtown: Sea Love, a candle-making boutique, the Face Foundrie facial spa, Miskatonic Brewing Craft Kitchen, Pro Image Sports and Miniso, a retailer known for its presence in malls.

An Ulta Beauty spokesperson confirmed the company’s store, located at 103. S Washington St., will close on March 30, because its lease is expiring. However, the cosmetics chain will continue to have a presence in Naperville with an existing store just three miles away.

Wehrli also noted that the Ulta on Aurora Avenue will have a significant presence in the planned Block 59 development.

Ulta is leaving a downtown space in Washington Place. The building is “very popular” and anchored by Athleta, MOD Pizza and the recently opened Aerie and Offline by Aerie, Wood said. “A new retailer will fit nicely within this great mix of businesses,” he said.

· Daily Herald staff writer Alicia Fabbre contributed to this report.

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