Construction is about to begin on a Speedway gasoline station in Lake Barrington that attracted much criticism before it was approved in 2014.
Workers began demolishing a vacant building on the site Monday at Northwest Highway and Kelsey Road to accommodate what will be a 20-pump station with a car wash, full-service convenience store and Speedy Cafe, which touts freshly made food and handcrafted beverages. Originally pegged for 2015, village officials now expect the Speedway to debut in the fall.
Lake Barrington Village President Kevin Richardson said a lot of work went into what he expects will be an attractive $6 million development at a visible intersection. He hopes it'll win over those who raised concern about Speedway causing traffic and environmental problems, as well as attracting criminals and harming the village's character.
"It's certainly my hope that everyone in the community will welcome them as new business residents of the village," Richardson said.
However, Krissy Lohmeyer won't be part of a welcoming committee. She managed a Facebook page for the opposition group STOP Speedway in Lake Barrington.
"I am sad to hear that construction is about to start on the new Speedway and only hope my former neighbors fight their mayor and board to prevent further damage to the community," said Lohmeyer, who moved to an unincorporated area outside Barrington in June 2015.
About 500 residents signed a petition opposing the gas station.
In November 2014, Lake Barrington trustees approved the Speedway during a 7½-hour meeting that ended at 2:30 a.m. The village board followed a couple weeks later with approval of a 15-year, revenue-sharing agreement with the company.
Under the deal, the village will split with the company the first $160,000 of new sales tax revenue collected at Speedway and keep anything beyond that amount. Speedway can't receive more than $1.2 million from Lake Barrington over the life of the agreement.
Lake Barrington projections show the Speedway should generate at least $100,000 in annual sales tax for the village. Barrington Area Unit School District 220, which officially objected to the Speedway, is expected to receive about $55,000 in annual property tax revenue.
Trustee Karen Daulton Lange said she believes enough time has passed that most Speedway opponents likely will embrace the business when it opens. She said enhanced landscaping requirements, stylish architecture and environmental safeguards demanded from Speedway will combine for a quality project.
"I think this is going to be the nicest-looking gas station with a cafe in Illinois," she said.
Lake Barrington has established the Speedway construction only may occur from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, excluding holidays. Construction-related vehicles will be required to stay on village thoroughfares such as Kelsey and Northwest Highway from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.