Geneva OKs sales tax rebate to fill old Dominick's space

  • Dominick's on Randall Road in Geneva closed in December 2013, when the grocery chain was shut down. The city has agreed to rebate sales tax money to the site's owner to divide the store into smaller spaces and refurbish the building and its landscaping.

    Dominick's on Randall Road in Geneva closed in December 2013, when the grocery chain was shut down. The city has agreed to rebate sales tax money to the site's owner to divide the store into smaller spaces and refurbish the building and its landscaping. Daily Herald file photo, April 2015

 
 
Updated 11/22/2016 6:15 AM

Geneva will rebate as much as $5 million in future sales taxes to get some businesses to move into the former Dominick's grocery store space in a shopping center at Randall Road and Fabyan Parkway.

The council approved a 15-year agreement with Wauconda LLC Monday night. Aldermen Dean Kilburg and Tara Burghart voted against it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Wauconda LLC proposes to divide the space to attract smaller tenants. It will also do parking, landscaping, sign and roof work on its portion of the 20-year-old shopping center. It includes removing many trees from a berm along Randall, because they have grown to obstruct the view of the storefronts.

Dominick's was a tenant from 1996 to 2013, when the company that owned it closed all the stores.

The company, however, still has a lease for the space, and that lease restricted what kind of stores could move in, particularly barring grocery stores.

Wauconda LLC has negotiated a release of the lease.

Each year the city will pay half the sales taxes it gets, generated by the new occupants, to Wauconda LLC, until the new sales tax revenue reaches the $100,000 level. Then it will rebate 75 percent for the rest of the year.

The company will have to submit proof the work has been done.

Wauconda LLC expects to spend about $10 million for the work.

"The center is tired. ... I think we can breathe new life in to it," Craig Whitehead, executive vice president of The Crown Group. The Crown Group represents Wauconda LLC.

Burghart called the deal "corporate welfare" and said without the rebate, Crown would still do the work and rent out the spaces, because it was in their best interest to do so. If they allowed the Dominick's site to remain vacant, the other two anchor tenants -- Gander Mountain and Best Buy -- would be unhappy, she said.

Tymoszenko said it would be the 16th time the city has rebated sales taxes to attract development, including one for when the shopping center was built.

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