Mount Prospect approves $1.5 million incentive deal for downtown grocery store
Mount Prospect village trustees welcomed the upcoming construction of a downtown grocery store by approving a $1.5 million incentive agreement Tuesday to help with build out costs and rent.
"In the 26 years I've been here, the number one thing I've heard from the community is that we want a grocery store in our downtown," Community Development Director Bill Cooney said.
The village has talked with "just about every grocer that we're aware of in the local area," but until now has been unable to find one that could operate a store on the smaller scale that would fit downtown, Cooney added.
That changed when Nicholas & Associates, the Mount Prospect-based developer behind the Maple Street Lofts project downtown, and its Wingspan Development Group moved to build a grocery store within the Lofts. Wingspan later reached a deal with Angelo Caputo's Fresh Markets to operate a 15,000-square-foot grocery store on the southwest corner of Prospect Avenue and Maple Street.
Angelo Caputo's operates seven other grocery stores in the West and Northwest suburbs. While their typical store measures more than 60,000 square feet, Chief Financial Officer Dominic Conenna said the first store Angelo Caputo opened was 3,000 square feet, "so we are really going back to our roots."
"It's good to see that some (grocers) are coming back to a smaller footprint in a neighborhood format in a downtown area because I do think there's a demand for it," Trustee Paul Hoefert added.
Under the incentive agreement, the village will contribute more than $620,000 to cover one-third of the build out costs. Nicholas and Associates will fund another third and Caputo's will cover the rest.
The remaining $880,000 incentive will come from sales taxes generated by the grocery store over its first 10 years.
"It's been a lot of blood sweat and tears to get them to the table here, because this is a new concept, and we've really whittled this project down in dollars in order to make it a reality," said Nick Papanicholas, Jr., president of the Wingspan Development Group.
Trustee William Grossi cast the only vote against the incentive deal.
"First of all, I do want the Caputo's here," he said, but added, "Are we stressing ourselves to the point where we're going to do whatever we can to get a grocery store in here and not look at the financials?"
The store will use all of the retail space within the Maple Street Lofts, a $110 million redevelopment on the south side of village's downtown. It includes a six-story, 192-unit apartment building with the retail space; a seven-story, 65-unit apartment building; nine buildings with 56 row homes; and a 268-space parking deck, all along Prospect Avenue near the downtown Metra station.