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updated: 5/29/2013 11:37 AM

Hoffman Estates hears proposal for Goodwill store, used car facility

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Used cars, clothes, furniture and more could soon be found at two new businesses in Hoffman Estates.

The village board met as the planning, building and zoning committee to do a courtesy review Tuesday of proposals for an Enterprise used car sales facility and a Goodwill donation and retail center.

Representatives from Enterprise said they want to open their business at 2475 W. Higgins Road, which once housed Max & Erma's and, more recently, Metropolis Bar and Grill.

The property is in an area that houses three restaurants, including Macaroni Grill, Steak & Shake and TGIF's, and a second vacant building that once held Lone Star Steakhouse.

Enterprise would modify the exterior of the building and remodel the interior into a car sales office. There would between 80 to 100 cars on display outside, the majority of which would be from the Enterprise rental fleet.

It is estimated the location would employ about 12 to 15 people and bring in about $153,000 in sales taxes for the village in the first year.

Multiple board members said they didn't believe the property was best suited for Enterprise. There were concerns about Enterprise's plan to remove about 20 trees along Higgins Road for better visibility, along with the fact the business would require zoning variations, as it does not include plans for a service shop.

The mayor and trustees suggested, however, that Enterprise review other available properties in the village.

"We'd certainly like to have you in our community, but I don't think this is an appropriate site," said Mayor William McLeod, adding that the village would be willing to help Enterprise find a site that fits their needs and provides good visibility.

"I think you are totally changing the character of the area there and affecting the other restaurants and we would be certainly giving up on ever having a restaurant there in the foreseeable future," he added.

Enterprise was seeking input from the committee before going forward with a formal review by the planning and zoning commission.

Goodwill wants to open a 20,000 square-foot donation center and retail store in Hoffman Village Shopping Center, just east of a Mariano's Fresh Market.

"We're a good draw for our co-tenants in the shopping center," said Joan Farrell, vice president of Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Chicago, adding that they would like to start working on the location by late summer.

The center would collect and sell gently used clothing, accessories, furniture, home goods, books, movies, music, toys, sports equipment, electronics and more. The organization has retails stores to generate revenue that is used to provide training, employment and supportive services for people with disabilities or disadvantages.

Representatives from Goodwill said the average retail store and donation center recycles nearly 2 million pounds of goods each year. They estimated the new store would provide jobs for 40 to 50 people and bring in about $50,000 a year in sales taxes to the village. It was also noted that the organization often gets involved in the communities the stores are located in.

There are plans to leave the exterior of the building mostly as-is, but there would be changes in parking spaces to accommodate a canopy that donors would pull into to drop off donations. A loading dock is also planned for the back of the building.

If Goodwill decides to move forward with the proposal, there will still need to be a review of the site plan, along with the engineering, landscaping and architectural plans.

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