Barrington approves economic incentive for Motor Werks auto dealership expansion
The village of Barrington has approved an economic incentive agreement for the expansion of the Motor Werks of Barrington auto dealership, which wants to purchase and redevelop an adjacent 10-acre office complex.
The property's owner, however, said he doesn't want to sell.
Motor Werks, 1475 S. Barrington Road, sells and services vehicles from BMW, Cadillac, Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.
The dealership wants to purchase the Barrington Woods office complex, which includes six buildings at 18 E. Dundee Road, and could develop it for a parking structure and vehicle reconditioning center; the potential relocation of the dealership's Cadillac business, currently located downtown; or to add another vehicle brand, village officials said.
But Robert Gienko Jr., president of RCG Management Services LLC and majority owner of the Barrington Woods office complex, said he doesn't want to sell the property and didn't know the dealership was pursuing a deal with the village.
"This was a complete surprise to me. If they want to acquire the complex, this is a pretty poor negotiating tactic," Gienko said. "There is no transaction (acquisition or otherwise) involving Motor Werks and 18 Dundee to discuss or report on."
Motor Werks of Barrington representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
Meanwhile, the village board approved Monday the agreement that allows the dealership to keep 65% of all new sales tax revenue over $2.7 million -- a figure based on previous year averages -- for 10 years starting in 2023, provided the dealership purchases the site and prepares it for redevelopment.
"For over 50 years, we have had a very positive and productive relationship with Motor Werks, and we are pleased to be working to assist them with a significant expansion of their luxury auto dealership," Village President Karen Darch said.
Village Manager Scott Anderson said this is the first economic incentive agreement between the village and the auto dealership. Sales tax revenue from motor vehicles makes up about 25% of the village's general operating funds.
In a memo to the village board, Anderson said village staff members had discussions in the past year with Motor Werks senior leadership, who said the dealership's operational needs have outgrown its current space and proposed partnering on an economic incentive agreement.
"Absent the ability to expand its operations, MWB (Motor Werks of Barrington) believes its sales have plateaued and that other locations could be evaluated to the better suit the future needs of the dealership," Anderson wrote.
The dealership "has been an incredibly important business in the community and it is in the village's best interest to partner with them to provide economic support. That support will partially offset land acquisition costs to facilitate the expansion of their operations and increase its retail presence in Barrington," Anderson wrote.
Gienko said he's owned the property since 2011 -- when Motor Werks also bid on its acquisition, he said -- and occupancy since has grown from 28% to about 75%. He has a personal connection to the complex, as he grew up in Barrington and has family nearby, he said.
"We continue to invest in the property and continue our efforts to both renew existing tenants and attract new tenants," he said. "I look forward to continuing to own, manage and lease out the property for now and the foreseeable future."