The owners of Butera Market want to open two new stores in Elgin, including one on the city's northwest side, an area with "low access" to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Butera is in negotiations to purchase and renovate a vacant property at 20 Tyler Creek Plaza, for a total investment of more than $4 million, said company chairman Paul Butera Sr. The 45,000 square-foot-store would be the same size of Butera's store at Clock Tower Plaza in Elgin, where the company's headquarters are located.
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Butera is also planning to build a new 38,000 square-foot-store on land it already purchased at 880 Summit St., Butera said. Pending city approval of the site plans, the store will open in May or June, he said.
The company operates nine grocery stores in the Chicago area, including South Elgin, St. Charles, Algonquin, Roselle, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Lindenhurst and Naperville.
"We had 27 stores back in the '80s. It's nothing new for us to grow. We opened up 10 stores in 10 weeks in the '80s," he said. "My kids want to expand, so we're expanding."
The Tyler Creek Plaza building held Eagle Fresh Market until 2003, and most recently a Home Plus Outlet.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines "low access" as census tracts where more than one-third of residents live more than a mile from a grocery store. In rural areas, the qualifying distance is 10 miles.
"I think the area deserves a supermarket," Butera said.
Under a proposed economic incentive agreement, the city would rebate to Butera half the sales and alcohol tax revenues generated by the Tyler Creek store for 10 years, for an amount not to exceed $500,000. The agreement would be void if Butera fails to operate, simultaneously, the Clock Tower Plaza and Tyler Creek Plaza locations.
Elgin Mayor David Kaptain said he's in favor of the agreement, which would bring a sorely needed grocery store to the area. "I think it's going to help the businesses around there," he said, adding Elgin has given similar incentives to Walmart and auto dealerships.
The Elgin City Council's committee of the whole is scheduled to discuss the matter at 6 p.m. Wednesday at city hall, 150 Dexter Court.