Tony's Fresh Market talking with Schaumburg about opening at last in vacant Town Square store
Itasca-based Tony's Fresh Market is in talks with Schaumburg officials about financial assistance for the company's $13 million plan to renovate the former Dominick's store at Town Square and open a new grocery store next July.
Tony's purchased the vacant building at 200 S. Roselle Road in 2015 with the intent of opening a new location there soon after. But company officials found their plans blocked by a long-term lease held by Albertsons -- the parent company of both Dominick's and Jewel -- that included potential extensions stretching to 2036.
Albertsons had acquired the lease through a series of corporate mergers. But rather than open another store of its own in the area, it used the lease to prevent competitors from moving in.
That was until this year, when it opted not to exercise any further extensions beyond May 31.
That was welcome news to Mayor Tom Dailly, who had made removal of that redevelopment roadblock a priority since his election in 2019.
"Albertsons came to realize that it was not a very effective plan to keep the lease in place," Dailly said. "Jewel has a very good following. People like shopping at Jewel. But I feel there's room for another player in the market."
He and Schaumburg Economic Development Director Matt Frank believe Town Square will benefit from the restoration of a major anchor -- especially as it remains a grocery store. The pandemic has demonstrated the value of grocery stores in shopping centers, Frank said, adding that the visibility of other Town Square tenants likely will be raised.
Village board members on Tuesday will discuss the recommendation of a Cook County Class 7B tax incentive as well as a village grant toward improvements to the building's exterior and parking lot.
For the grant, the village's assistance transforming the former Easy Street Pub into Phat Phat Chinese restaurant across Roselle Road is being looked at as a model, Frank said. In that case, the century-old building at 17 S. Roselle Road received $250,000 from the village as a reimbursement for its restoration.
The Class 7B incentive would cut property taxes nearly in half over a 12-year period. It works by reducing the level of assessment on the property from 25% to 10% for the first 10 years, then raising it to 15% in year 11 and 20% in year 12 before returning to normal.
One business that might experience an adverse effect from Tony's plans is the Chicago's Own Maxwell Street food truck that's been parking in the empty lot.
The operator recently learned it needed to be licensed by the village's health division and did so, Schaumburg Community Development Director Julie Fitzgerald said.
But the property owner also has to apply for a permit to allow the presence of a food truck, and the vendor told the village it hasn't been able to get the owner to submit that application, she said.
Representatives of Tony's Fresh Market did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.