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updated: 4/2/2014 5:17 PM

Lake Zurich helps find temporary space for high-end automobile business hit by fire

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  • Benjamin Ripstein, owner of Midwest Motors Inc. in Lake Zurich, with high-end luxury cars Wednesday in a temporary location on Oakwood Road. A fire last week forced him out of his building on Cortland Drive on the village's west side.

       Benjamin Ripstein, owner of Midwest Motors Inc. in Lake Zurich, with high-end luxury cars Wednesday in a temporary location on Oakwood Road. A fire last week forced him out of his building on Cortland Drive on the village's west side.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Midwest Motors Inc. employee Jose Valdez details a 2012 McClaren at a temporary location Wednesday on Oakwood Road in Lake Zurich. Owner Benjamin Ripstein credits village officials for helping him secure the space after a fire last week forced him from his building west of Rand Road.

       Midwest Motors Inc. employee Jose Valdez details a 2012 McClaren at a temporary location Wednesday on Oakwood Road in Lake Zurich. Owner Benjamin Ripstein credits village officials for helping him secure the space after a fire last week forced him from his building west of Rand Road.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

A high-end car business in Lake Zurich that was forced from its building due to a fire is expected to be fully operational in a temporary location Friday, company officials said.

Midwest Motors Inc. owner Benjamin Ripstein credited Mayor Thomas Poynton and other village officials for quickly assisting him after last week's blaze. No injuries resulted from the fire.

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"I think Lake Zurich means business when it comes to business," Ripstein said.

Firefighters were summoned to Midwest Motors about 5 p.m. March 24, where they found smoke and fire coming from the building's second story. Midwest Motors is on the 500 block of Cortland Drive at Route 22, west of Rand Road.

Lake Zurich Fire Department officials said an exact cause was not determined for the blaze, but investigators found it originated in a confined space with electrical equipment. They said damage likely exceeded $100,000.

No cars were damaged in the fire, Ripstein said.

Midwest Motors specializes in late-model, low-mileage luxury and exotic used vehicles. Manufacturers include Jaguar, Aston Martin and Ferrari.

Poynton said he went to Midwest Motors out of concern for the business after learning about the fire. He said the village's building and zoning department keeps a comprehensive list of vacant industrial and retail spaces, so officials were able to guide Ripstein to his temporary quarters at 570 Oakwood Road.

"Good guy, good business," Poynton said Wednesday.

Ripstein said Midwest Motors should be fully running on Friday in the industrial park on Oakwood. He said he expects to operate from the 13,000-square-foot temporary location for three or four months before returning to what will be a rebuilt structure on Cortland Drive.

"If the village wasn't able to react so quickly, it could have been devastating to our business," he said.

Despite some neighborhood objections, the Lake Zurich village board in 2012 approved a special-use permit that allowed Midwest Motors to open in the former Capaccio Bros. Furniture space. Capaccio Bros. operated in Lake Zurich for 28 years.

Lake Zurich provided an economic incentive agreement to Midwest Motors for relocating from Volo.

Under the 10-year deal, Lake Zurich shares 50 percent of retail sales tax with Midwest Motors. The agreement has a refund cap of $60,000 during any given year.

Twitter: @DHBobSusnjara

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