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updated: 6/19/2013 10:04 AM

Walmart to build at former Cicero racetrack site

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Town President Larry Dominick and officials of Arkansas-based Walmart formally closed an agreement to build a Walmart Super Center on the eastern half of the former Sportsman's racetrack.

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Under the contract, Wal-Mart will pay $7.5 million for 24.67 acres of land at the former racetrack to construct a 190,000 square-foot Super Center.

Dominick said the sale was achieved without any tax or TIF incentives from Cicero taxpayers but will bring huge benefits to the community.

"We're very proud of the agreement and very excited to have Walmart bring their successful retail brand to our community," Dominick said.

"Wirtz Beverage Illinois is up and running and doing well. With Walmart now taking over most of the remaining property, we believe that the old vacant Sportsman's property will become a powerful commercial hub that will strengthen Cicero's economic engine."

Cicero sold 35 acres of the vacant Sportsman's Park in January 2011 to Wirtz Beverage Illinois, which has since built a $75 million, 600,000 square-foot distribution center that employs more than 1,000 people. As a part of that deal,

Wirtz agreed to pay for the construction of a regulation-sized outdoor hockey stadium in Cicero Community Park. Since it's opening in 2012, the ice rink has attracted thousands of young kids to the ice rink during winter months and roller-skating during summer months.

The new Walmart is expected to generate more than $1 million a year in sales taxes for Cicero, Dominick said, and it puts the property back on the tax rolls.

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