Rolling Meadows not interested in buying vacant Dominick's
Rolling Meadows will not be purchasing the long-vacant Dominick's on Kirchoff Road.
A 4-3 majority of the council shot down the idea of the city even investigating buying the property during a committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday. They also voted against an idea to hire an economic development consultant to market the city's vacancies.
The suggestions were brought up by Alderman John D'Astice after a vote earlier this year to reject a plan for a senior housing community to buy the property because of outcry from residents who wanted more retail or restaurants there instead.
"Many of the residents came to us and said, 'What can we do with that piece of property?' But, we can't do anything because we don't own it," D'Astice said. "Once we own it, we can decide what we want to do with it."
Aldermen Brad Judd and Mike Cannon said they would be interested in investigating the idea to see if the property could be split off and developed in several parts. Other council members disagreed.
"I don't support the idea of the city getting into the real estate business, so I would never support something like this," said Alderman Robert Banger. Alderman Tim Veenbaas said he agreed.
Mayor Tom Rooney weighed in that he didn't think it was a realistic idea to even spend time on.
"I don't investigate the cost of Jaguars because I know I don't have the money to buy one," Rooney said, adding that money is already needed for city issues like roads and relocating fire stations.
D'Astice had also suggested the city hire an economic development consultant for an amount not to exceed $100,000 for no more than three years, but the idea was not popular among the council during Tuesday's meeting.
Alderman Len Prejna said money is not the answer, but that the council needs a more business-friendly attitude.
"Maybe this guy is a pied piper who parts the Red Sea and brings businesses in here, but if they come into this council and we continue with this attitude of 'it's my way or the highway,' it's not going to work," he said.
Other council members said instead that a new economic development strategy needs to come from city staff.
"I don't agree with this proposal, but I agree with the thought process behind it," Cannon said. "I don't disagree that we need to do something, but this isn't it."