‘They’ve got buy-in now’: Small Cheval, Zanies, Taco Bell buy Rosemont properties

Proprietors behind Small Cheval, Zanies Comedy Club and Taco Bell are putting down deeper roots in Rosemont by purchasing the buildings they now lease from the village.

Small Cheval’s 4,600-square-foot building at 9421 W. Higgins Road — the popular Chicago burger joint’s first suburban outpost that opened this spring — was sold to the owner for $3.5 million, under a contract approved by the village board this week.

A block away, the Taco Bell property was sold to a local franchisee group for $1.375 million.

Zanies — one of the original tenants of the village entertainment district that opened in 2012 — went for $1.75 million.

They’re the latest in a line of property transactions in recent years as the municipality transitions away from landlord responsibilities.

“We’re playing developer,” said Mayor Brad Stephens. “Build it, stabilize it, sell it.”

A tentative deal to sell the building housing Big Chicken and Stan’s Donuts & Coffee to the local owner of the former could get the board’s approval next month. The one-story, 8,000-square-foot building is in between Small Cheval and Taco Bell, on what’s become a Higgins restaurant row that also includes Giordano’s and Moretti’s.

Many of the tenants had 5- or 10-year leases with the village, but by owning the properties “they’ve got buy-in now,” Stephens said.

The restaurants operate under special use zoning approvals through the village. So, if the owners want to sell or change what businesses operate there, they’d have to come back to the village’s zoning board of appeals for approval, Stephens said.

Proceeds from the property sales will go into general village operations, and help pay the debt service on a recent bond issue, he added.

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