It's been years in the making, but it looks as if this year is finally the year when the new Elgin Walmart will open along Randall Road.
After years of delays, the store is scheduled to open by Thanksgiving of this year, said Sarosh Saher, the city of Elgin's senior planner.
"At this time it's progressing really well," Saher said. "A large part of the building is up, and soon they'll be beginning more of the site work."
Now that the store's foundation is up and work is progressing, many people are wondering what is going to be opening near the new Walmart/Sam's on the 73-acre parcel in terms of neighboring businesses.
Presently, Saher said, Walmart officials have not given the city any information on concrete tenants they've secured for the outlots around the future super center at Randall and Bowes roads.
However, the city does have some regulations on what can and cannot go on the outlets near the new 177,000-square-foot supercenter.
"It's up to them. They have direction through our ordinances, but we do not know yet," Saher said.
The city, however, does has a vague idea of what the outlots might look like.
Saher said there would be no less than three businesses on the property surrounding Walmart.
There could be a bunch of restaurants, he said.
However, he added, the city's ordinance limits the number of high volume fast food restaurants to two.
If there are restaurants, especially fast food restaurants, the ordinance will allow them to have drive-through lanes, he said.
The ordinance also limits the surrounding property to only one gas station, he said.
While no one knows exactly what will be on the neighboring land, there are some ideas of what won't be there.
For example, Saher said, they cannot open any tax return preparation businesses, dollar stores or motor vehicle shops, he said.
Those uses, he added, are not allowed on the city's arterial roads.
The Walmart project has been delayed for years as business officials and county officials worked out an agreement on improvements to the Randall and Bowes roads intersection.
It was first proposed in 2006.
Saher said he expects to hear more about the outlots as the main Walmart store's completion gets closer this fall.
Walmart is expected to close its existing store at Randall and Royal Boulevard once the new store opens.
Help the jailbirds: On June 15, you can help bail out some community members for a good cause.
The Claddagh Irish Pub along Randall Road in Geneva Commons is hosting an MDA lockup event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Local community and business leaders will be jailed at the restaurant.
Your money will help bail them out and raise money for muscular dystrophy.
For your kitchen: The Williams-Sonoma store in Geneva Commons is hosting some special events this month.
On Friday, June 3, they are offering a complimentary knife sharpening. You can bring in three knives by Wusthof to be sharpened. However, you cannot bring in Asian or serrated knifes.
If you need your knives sharpened, you can stop by any time from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
On Saturday, June 4, they'll be doing a Magimix Food Processing demonstration at the store from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from Batavia to Crystal Lake. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 894-5036.