A plan to redevelop a long-vacant Dominick's Finer Foods store in Wauconda has received an enthusiastic endorsement from village officials.
A company called LSC Development wants to open a self-storage facility on the property, which is at the southwest corner of routes 12 and 176 in the Wauconda Crossings shopping center. The developers have built Life Storage centers across the Chicago area.
Trustees moved the plan forward Tuesday night by approving a development agreement and a conditional-use permit for the business.
After the vote, Mayor Frank Bart stepped down from the dais, went to the audience and shook hands with LSC Development co-owner Jean Jodoin, thanking him for the project.
Bart called the development a tremendous boon to Wauconda, valuing it at $4 million.
Trustees praised the plan and the developers, too.
"Just to have something there is wonderful. But to have something as exciting as what Life Storage is proposing is terrific," Trustee Tim Howe told the Daily Herald on Wednesday. "They're really doing a nice job."
First publicized in May, the plan 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 project also includes space for independent businesses, such as retail stores, restaurants or coffee shops.
"Those are things that are very exciting," Howe said.
The Dominick's store shut down in 2004, and the space has been empty ever since. The high-profile vacancy has been a top concern for village officials -- and a top complaint for residents -- for years.
But there hasn't been much interest in the site because Dominick's parent company has had a long-term lease with the company that owns the building, the Inland Real Estate Corp.
Trustee John Barbini said he hopes the project triggers more commercial development in the village.
"I think it's the start," Barbini said Wednesday. "And hopefully more good things will come from this."