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posted: 7/9/2012 5:51 PM

Elgin council considers incentives to entice Portillo's

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Portillo's lovers in the Elgin area soon may be able to buy the restaurant chain's famous hot dogs and Italian beef closer to home.

Elgin City Council members will consider an economic incentive agreement Wednesday to help convince the Midwest's largest privately-owned restaurant company that Elgin is the right place for its next opening. For now, the closest restaurants are in St. Charles, Batavia, Streamwood and Crystal Lake.

The agreement includes a commitment to "fast-track" the permitting process for construction of the development, which will house 16,000 feet of retail space as well as an 8,400-square-foot restaurant at Bowes and Randall roads in the Wal-Mart/Sams Club lot.

About $134,000 in development fees will also be waived if the agreement is approved Wednesday.

Elgin Assistant City Manager Rick Kozal helped negotiate the incentives. He said the city started working with Portillo's representatives in November 2011 when they were focusing on an outlot in the Meijer shopping center.

Kozal said the incentives will help ensure the restaurant chooses Elgin over other options along the Randall Road corridor. And the package will be less controversial than more recent incentives offered with cash payouts for employee hires.

"It's an economic incentive agreement that's consistent with the direction of the council," Kozal said. "There is no outflow of funds."

The restaurant is expected to hire 120 employees and generate $7.2 million in revenue in 2013. The city is expecting $162,000 in sales tax revenue from that total, making up the amount it is offering to waive through the agreement in the first year.

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