Developers on Tuesday unveiled a plan to replace a long-vacant grocery store in Wauconda with a self-storage facility.
It's the first time in years that anyone's shown significant interest in the former Dominick's Finer Foods store in the Wauconda Crossings shopping center, at the southwest corner of routes 12 and 176. It's been empty since 2004.
Representatives of a Barrington company called LSC Development presented their plan for the site to the village board Tuesday. The company is associated with the LifeStorage centers across the Chicago area.
Co-owner Jean Jodoin did most of the talking, telling the board he's "thrilled" by the possibility of expanding his business to the site.
"We could always see (that vacancy) was a problem," said Jodoin, of Lake Barrington. "This is a great opportunity to turn something that is nothing into something."
Jodoin's concept calls for an indoor storage facility and outdoor storage for RVs and boats. The 72,385-square-foot building that once housed the supermarket would be renovated to fit the new use.
The plan also includes a smaller space for an independent retail business. Jodoin said he envisions a Starbucks or Panera Bread restaurant operating there.
Because LSC Development's plan is in the concept stage, trustees weren't asked to vote on it. But several voiced strong support for the plan after Jodoin's presentation.
Filling the old Dominick's store has been a top concern for village officials for years, but there hasn't been much interest in the site because Dominick's parent company has a long-term lease there that doesn't expire until 2017.
The Inland Real Estate Corp. owns the building.
"I wish I had a buck for every time someone has asked me ... what's going on with the Dominick's site?" Trustee John Barbini said. "I think it's very important we get this site occupied and functioning."
Trustee Lincoln Knight also spoke in favor of the plan.
"I think this could really spark something in that area of town," Knight said.