The Palatine village council voted Monday to task a developer with selling the old Menards store at 1775 N. Rand Road, a property which has been owned by the village since 2009.
First Rockford Group Inc. would have one year to find a buyer interested in the large property. If they were successful in locating a buyer, First Rockford would purchase the property from the village for $6 million. Of that total, half will be paid to the village upfront and the other half will be generated by the new business that develops there.
Patricia Gibbs, a representative for First Rockford, said she was optimistic they would find a buyer soon but acknowledged the challenges of the task, such as the still-recovering market and the size of the property.
"That said, my office is ridiculously busy doing lots of transactions in lots of communities, and we hope this site will be one of them soon," Gibbs said.
Gibbs did not reveal the names of the companies that First Rockford has been in contact with but said they have been in serious talks with a limited-assortment grocery store. Gibbs said if that store doesn't end up pulling the trigger they have spoken to other companies such as a furniture store and a rug store.
Mike Jacobs, the Palatine deputy village manager. said First Rockford could also choose to redevelop the property to suit a buyer by renovating the existing building or tearing it down and starting over.
The village bought the property for $8 million in 2009 after Menards opened a new store in Long Grove and closed the Palatine location. Since then, the property has been used by Wolff's Flea Market, which pays the village $120,000 a year to use it. Jacobs said Wolff's, which also operates a flea market in the parking lot of the Allstate Arena, also pays about $100,000 in property taxes on the building each year.
Jacobs said the village's arrangement with Wolff's has been a good solution in the interim, but they've made it clear to Wolff's that they are looking to sell the property as soon as they are able.
The village council passed the ordinance to work with First Rockford unanimously at their regular council meeting Monday night.