Residents have spoken and Hoffman Estates officials are listening.
The village's economic development department is amping up its efforts to bring a hardware store to town, after receiving numerous resident requests for one over the past few years, said Gary Skoog, director of economic development.
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"We just don't have anything close by, so we're doing everything we can to make it happen," Skoog said. "We're being very proactive about moving forward on this."
The village's last hardware store, a Menards on Higgins Road near Barrington Road, closed in November 2008. The closest Menards now is near Barrington and Irving Park roads in Hanover Park. The nearest Home Depot is in Schaumburg, near Barrington and Schaumburg roads.
So far, attempts to recruit smaller chains like Ace and True Value have proved difficult, for a variety of reasons.
"The biggest problem is that hardware stores have a low profit margin and the taxes in Cook County sometimes are as much as they want to pay for rent," he said.
Skoog has found that hardware store companies are more interested in opening shop in suburban communities in DuPage, Kane or Lake counties, where taxes are significantly less.
The chains also have told Hoffman Estates officials they need a store operator who is willing to work with them and invest in the business. Skoog said an operator -- who doesn't have to be a Hoffman Estates resident -- would likely have to put about $300,000 into the project up front.
"They have to really think about it and they have to research it," he said.
Skoog said the village wants to help the store operator with tax incentives or, if it is located in a tax increment financing area, with build-out costs.
"We don't want to set anybody up for failure. We're willing to put some skin the game ourselves," he said.
The village is eyeing a smaller hardware store rather than a "big box" retailer like Home Depot or Lowe's. The closest True Value is in Palatine, and residents who want to visit an Ace Hardware store have to travel to Palatine, Barrington or Elgin.
"We want to keep (residents) in town and keep those dollars in town," Skoog said, adding that bringing a hardware store to Hoffman Estates would be "another component in the shop local campaign."
As for a location, Skoog said the village is open to a variety of areas, though the village hopes the store could find a space somewhere in the central or south part of town -- in the boundary lines of Roselle and Barrington roads to the east and west and Schaumburg Road and I-90 to the south and north.
Another good location, he said, may be on the north side of the village, off Palatine or Algonquin roads.
Anyone who is interested in becoming a store operator can call (847) 781-2662.