Arlington Heights sets aside $2M to lure grocer, Raising Cane's to Town & Country center
Arlington Heights officials plan to set aside $2 million in tax increment financing dollars to attract a new grocery store and a popular fast food restaurant to the Town & Country Shopping Center, according to the proposed 2021 village budget.
The line item on the budget just released this week is for an anticipated redevelopment agreement that would pave the way for a still-undisclosed grocer to move into a vacant space in the shopping center.
The agreement would also bring Raising Cane's, a quick-service chain restaurant with a simple menu of chicken fingers, crinkle-cut fries, coleslaw and Texas toast. It's planned for a new 3,736-square-foot outlot building at 225 E. Palatine Road.
The village board granted a special use permit for the restaurant and drive-through in July 2019, but it's been slow to develop amid the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, officials said.
Charles Witherington-Perkins, the village's director of planning and community development, on Tuesday declined to reveal details about the proposed redevelopment agreement or potential grocery store.
"The village has been working with Town & Country ownership for redevelopment of the outlot for Raising Cane's and tenant improvements in the center," he said. "That's all I'm able to comment on."
The prospect of a new grocer -- and that village officials are considering the award of TIF funds to the project -- was disclosed within the 495-page proposed budget that village trustees began reviewing during virtual public meetings Monday and Tuesday nights. Final consideration and approval is expected Dec. 7.
In a TIF district, tax revenue generated by a property's increasing value or new development is diverted to a fund that pays for land purchases, infrastructure improvements and other projects, rather than to local governments.
Town & Country, anchored by Dick's Sporting Goods, LA Fitness and Best Buy, has two major vacancies of 50,000 and 41,700 square feet. The former was the longtime home of Dominick's, until the grocery chain went out of business in 2013.
Joe Caputo & Sons operated there from June 2014 to November 2015 under a sublease with Safeway, the former Dominick's owner. Safeway, which merged with Jewel-Osco parent company Albertson's, had a long-term lease for the store with options for multiple five-year extensions, one of which was agreed to in 2015, Witherington-Perkins told the Daily Herald in a November 2015 story.
Witherington-Perkins on Tuesday said he is unsure of the status of that lease.
If approved, the new grocer would have competition at the busy Arlington Heights Road/Rand Road intersection, where Jewel-Osco operates in the Northpoint Shopping Center, Trader Joe's in the Annex of Arlington, and Harvest Fresh Market in Arlington Plaza.