Housing, auto dealership highlight new plan for long-vacant Rohrman site in Buffalo Grove

The developer who revitalized the southwest corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Deerfield Parkway in Buffalo Grove hopes to do the same for the long-vacant former Rohrman auto dealership property on the other side of town.

The Shorewood Development Group plans to redevelop site at 915-945 Dundee Road with a new car dealership and service center, 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of retail space at the northwest corner of the site, and a four- to five-story luxury residential building.

But realization of those plans will require the creation of a new Tax Increment Financing District on Dundee Road and an economic incentive using funds from the TIF, they say.

The Buffalo Grove village board Monday approved a resolution that would allow the Buffalo Grove-based developer to seek TIF reimbursement down the road as part of a redevelopment agreement with the village. The board also took steps Monday toward the creation of the TIF.

Nicole Woods, the village's director of community development, said the district generally would encompass the area around the intersection of Dundee Road and Arlington Heights Road. It would include the Plaza Verde and Strathmore shopping centers, Buffalo Grove High School and the former Rohrman property.

The village is hiring SB Friedman Development Advisors to conduct a TIF feasibility study, and expects the complete TIF report within the next 45 to 60 days.

A TIF district is an economic incentive mechanism in which property taxes within the district's boundaries would be frozen at their current levels for 23 years. Any additional tax revenue generated by rising property values there would be placed in a special fund to pay for improvements within its boundaries.

Shorewood has entered into a contract to purchase the property from the Napleton Automotive Group, which acquired the property from a Purdue University foundation that had received it as a donation from Rohrman. The property has sat vacant since Rohrman ceased operations there 14 years ago.

Shorewood was instrumental in the development of Woodman's Food Market at Milwaukee Avenue and Deerfield Parkway, as well as the retail development across the street. The developer owned the land that Woodman's purchased, as well as the land it developed for the retail center that includes Mod Pizza, Starbucks and Chase Bank.

Louis Schriber III, Shorewood's CEO and founding partner, told the village board Monday he has had his eye on the Rohrman property for 12 years.

“What's driven our pursuit of this and getting it under contract and moving forward is a relationship that we have with a national auto dealership that is very well-known and respected,” he said, declining to name the dealership.

Trustee Joanne Johnson thanked Schriber for having confidence in Buffalo Grove.

“It was your efforts that completely built up a whole new intersection of revenue for the residents of Buffalo Grove at Milwaukee and Deerfield,” she said. “But this is really special, because this has been a blighted area.”

  A Rohrman Auto Group sticker remains on the front door of the former dealership at 935 W. Dundee Road in Buffalo Grove. After years of sitting vacant, a new redevelopment proposal has emerged for the property. Paul Valade/
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