A Mariano's Fresh Market is slated to open in Hoffman Estates by the end of August in a space left vacant by a Dominick's store that closed in January.
Mayor William McLeod made the announcement Wednesday at the Sears Centre Arena during his annual community update breakfast, sponsored by the Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce.
The upscale grocery store, which is advertised as having world-class shopping with competitive prices, will become the anchor retailer for the struggling Hoffman Village Shopping Center at Barrington and Golf Roads, which was down to having only one-third of its space filled following Dominick's departure..
"It will be a great addition there, to that center," McLeod said. "That center could use some help, there's no doubt about it."
Gary Skoog, director of economic development, said he expects the store to help repopulate the center and draw in customers from more than 10 miles away.
"Mariano's is a hot grocer right now," Skoog said. "People are willing to drive farther for a Mariano's than for your typical grocery store."
Besides the Mariano's announcement, a video of McLeod discussing last year's accomplishments and future goals for the village was aired at the breakfast.
He highlighted the retention of Sears Holding Co., and one attendee personally thanked the mayor and village officials for working hard to keep the company in the village, which resulted in a round of applause.
"Sears leaving was unacceptable," McLeod said. "There was just no way they were going to leave."
The video also mentioned the opening of the world headquarters of Tate and Lyle, the makers of Splenda, and some other large businesses in the village, and highlighted new initiatives by the village, such as marketing campaigns on visithoffman.com and the recognition of green businesses.
When asked if there are any plans to make a westbound ramp onto I-90 at Barrington Road, McLeod said IDOT has pledged $18 million toward the construction of a full interchange at the location. About $1.5 million of that money will be used to pay for a preliminary engineering study.
"That's a big start," McLeod said, adding that the village will continue to lobby with state and federal officials to obtain extra funding to supplement what Hoffman Estates can afford to put into the project.
"We think it's a really vital issue, because with the hospital right there it's really a life safety issue," he said.
McLeod also mentioned that the village has created a pre-TIF agreement for the area near Barrington Square Mall, located on Higgins Road near Barrington Road, which has struggled to gain new businesses after Menards left the center in 2008.
He said the village is currently talking with all the taxing bodies from the area that the mall is in and pitching the idea of creating a tax increment financing district to help pay for improvements and attract an anchor store into the center. In a TIF, extra property taxes from growth go to pay for some development costs instead of going to taxing bodies like parks and schools.
A developer is considering building apartments on the west side of Beverly Road near Higgins Road. Village manager Jim Norris said the project is still its planning stages, but that approval could come in the next three months.
As for this year, McLeod expressed excitement for the opening of an off-track betting facility within The Saddle Room, a new restaurant coming to the village's economic development area, and a Big 10 women's tournament that will be held at the Sears Centre in March.
He also reminded the audience that the village's Fourth of July celebration will be held at the Sears Centre this year.
"We've got to start thinking regionally," he said, noting that he expects residents from surrounding communities that have canceled their fireworks, such as Elgin, to attend the event.