Lincolnshire officials are planning infrastructure improvements at the village's busiest intersection to coincide with the proposed construction of the town's first supermarket.
A Fresh Market store has been proposed for village-owned land on the northeast corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Half Day Road, in the heart of what's considered downtown Lincolnshire. The site, which is empty now, wraps around a Marathon gas station near the corner.
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Fresh Market officials plan to break ground by Oct. 15 and open by the end of May 2013, according to a village memo.
"We're close to signing a deal," Mayor Brett Blomberg said. "It looks like that'll be happening any second."
To make the site more hospitable, the village board this week agreed to hire Berger Excavating Contractors of Wauconda to build a road through the property, construct a parking lot, install storm sewers and lighting and make other improvements. Berger will be paid an estimated $2.3 million for the work.
The road will connect Half Day Road and Milwaukee Avenue, Blomberg explained.
No work except some preparatory site grading will be authorized until Fresh Market gets a building permit, however, according to the village memo.
The village board approved the contract with Berger even though the Fresh Market deal hasn't been finalized to show developers they're serious about the project, Blomberg said.
"We've got a contractor ready to go," he said.
The village's initial plans for the land included the construction of a pedestrian bridge over Indian Creek and a pedestrian bridge east of Milwaukee Avenue and south of the gas station.
Officials put the bridges on hold, however, because of concerns about the competency of a construction firm that was interested in the job and would have been the lowest bidder if the bridges were included, according to village documents.
If officials opt to build the bridges later, new proposals will be sought. During a discussion before the vote on the Berger deal Monday, Trustee David Saltiel said officials "have to look long and hard" at improving pedestrian access to the site.