Antioch hires retail consultant with national contacts
Antioch officials have hired out-of-town help with national contacts to fill some blanks on its commercial landscape.
A kickoff meeting between village staff members and a team from Retail Strategies LLC is planned in preparation for the International Conference of Shopping Centers convention -- the granddaddy of trade shows with 36,000 attendees -- in May in Las Vegas.
Trustees recently authorized a three-year contract with the Birmingham, Alabama-based firm for $50,000 the first year and $30,000 each of the next two years. It will provide consulting and economic development services, such as retail analysis, identifying trade areas, marketing and recruiting.
"We have several parcels that we will be highlighting that may be perfect for a number of national retailers," community development director Michael Garrigan said.
The main focus will be on the Route 173 corridor. It already has nodes of shopping areas mixed with open spaces, such as at the northeast corner at Deep Lake Road that was zoned for commercial uses in November.
Mayor Larry Hanson said the data the company collects can help determine what businesses are needed or missing and target them.
"I'd rather have somebody who specializes in that," Hanson said. "We can find out, for example, why (a given business) wants to be here or why they don't want to be here," he added.
Garrigan said the mayor and village board want to build on economic development success in town, such as recent and planned building at what had been the long-idled Antioch Corporate Center.
The village board determined hiring Retail Strategies, with its strong connections to hundreds of national retailers, makes sense based on current commercial trends, he added.
Officials believe there are several commercial opportunities along Route 173 to attract national retailers, as well as casual dining restaurants, according to Garrigan.
"By increasing retail, we increase the commercial sales and property tax base allowing us the resources to enhance the services we provide residents," said village Trustee Mary Dominiak, the chief board contact for economic development.
The effort is expected to also extend to downtown, where Retail Strategies will try to attract new regional and niche retailers, restaurants and businesses, according to Garrigan.
"We view the downtown as being critically important to the overall vibrancy of the village," he said.