Lakemoor will pay up to $6 million in incentives for Woodman's grocery store

  • Lakemoor officials have authorized an incentive of up to $6 million with Woodman's Food Market Inc., to build a store and bring utilities and make other improvements to develop a 74-acre parcel at routes 12 and 120.

      Lakemoor officials have authorized an incentive of up to $6 million with Woodman's Food Market Inc., to build a store and bring utilities and make other improvements to develop a 74-acre parcel at routes 12 and 120. Mick Zawislak | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/2/2017 4:53 PM

Lakemoor will provide incentives of up to $6 million over 15 years to Woodman's Food Market Inc., to build and operate a grocery store and gas station, car wash and lube center at the southwest corner of routes 12 and 120.

Village officials have consistently maintained nothing would be built at that corner without some type of public assistance due to the cost of improving roads and extending storm and sanitary sewers, water and other utilities. However, a specific amount has not been mentioned.

 

Under terms of the agreement, the intent is to use sale tax revenue to pay an incentive not to exceed $2 million and to reimburse the cost of off-site work not to exceed $4 million.

Village trustees unanimously agreed last week that half the sales tax collected from the grocery store and related operations would be funneled to Woodman's. A third of those payments would be for the incentive and two thirds would be a reimbursement to the Wisconsin-based chain for the cost of improvements needed to develop the 74-acre site.

Details of what that work will entail will be outlined in a separate pact that will include an amendment to the annexation agreement and is expected to be finalized in 60 days, according to Mayor Todd Weihofen.

"This is probably the biggest step. Everything else we think will be going smoothly," he said.

According to the terms, the rebate period does not start until a certificate of occupancy is issued. Woodman's has a contract to purchase the property.

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Lakemoor officials have described the 240,000-square-foot grocery store and associated operations as a $40 million investment. Officials also expect Woodman's to create jobs and spark development in the area adjacent to the grocery store, but the sales tax revenue from adjoining areas is not subject to the agreement.

Overall, the cost of off-site work has been estimated at $10 million, with about half that to widen the intersection and make other road improvements. Work could begin in summer, Weihofen said, but is contingent on the Woodman's project.

The company's goal is to have plans submitted and approvals secured by midyear, according to Bret Backus, Woodman's vice president of real estate. Barring delays, the opening date for the store is summer 2019, he added.

Still at issue is the village's designation of the area as a special financing district, which faces a legal challenge from Wauconda Unit District 118, Wauconda Township and Wauconda Area Library. The parties argue the land would develop without the special designation, which defers new property tax revenues for 23 years. If the court upholds the district, the intent is to use those funds for off-site and other improvements.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In an attempt to settle the matter, Lakemoor offered to share some of the proceeds but the offer was withdrawn in early November after Woodman's officials reiterated a desire to build at that corner.

Dean Krone, an attorney representing the three entities, said he expects the village to produce additional documents in the near future, followed by depositions.

@dhmickzawislak

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