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posted: 6/7/2013 12:05 AM

Streamwood residents wary of dealership proposal

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Residents expressed concerns Thursday about traffic, toxins, tree removal and other issues in response to a proposal for the construction of a new $12 million car dealership in Streamwood.

Representatives for the Toyota and Scion dealership on Chicago Street in Elgin said they are hoping to relocate the business to 1600 W. Lake St.

The area on which they want to construct the 81,000-square-foot building consists of three vacant lots where Ace Coffee Service was once located. It is near the intersection Elizabeth Drive, directly south of the Forest Ridge subdivision. The subdivision's residents are worried the dealership will cause the disappearance of wildlife and a decrease in property values.

Resident Mario Noble was one of more than 20 residents who attended the meeting. He suggested the property would be better for a grocery store or commercial businesses that neighbors could walk to.

"I have nothing against Elgin Toyota," Noble said. "I like the plan that you have here ... but I think that you (village board members) have an opportunity here to take advantage of some future ideas."

Although the construction of the dealership would involve the removal of trees, there are extensive landscaping plans that would work to minimize that impact, representatives said. They added that the lubricants used in the service shop are not dangerous and the facility would not generate much more traffic.

"We're going to do everything we can to be good neighbors," said Bob Loquercio, president of the auto group that owns Elgin Toyota. "If you look at that site now, it's been overgrown and rundown and boarded up for the last eight or nine years, and in my opinion, it's a blight. It's an eyesore."

"The village is holding us to a very high standard on your behalf, and with your best interest at heart."

Dealership representatives estimated the business would employ about 125 people and bring in more than $10 million in sales in the first year. The two west lots, they said, would be used for the showroom and service center, and there are hopes to open another dealership on the east lot in the future, but for now it would be used for ancillary parking.

If plans are approved by the village, the dealership would like to break ground by the end of this summer and have the doors open by early summer 2014. The village board will review the plans again at the June 20 meeting.

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