Tesla plans to be latest addition to Libertyville's Mile of Cars

Long known as a hub for auto sales, Libertyville may soon welcome a new brand to its inventory.

Village officials say electric carmaker Tesla plans a dealership at the former Gregory Infiniti location, 1121 S. Milwaukee Ave.

It would be the latest addition to what is marketed as the Libertyville Mile of Cars, an association of 12 dealerships representing 17 vehicle brands.

"A number of other dealers do have electric offerings but this is a unique product that will attract people regionally to the Libertyville Mile of Cars," said village Economic Development Coordinator Heather Rowe.

The space became available when Gregory Infiniti built a new facility nearby on Milwaukee Avenue and Greentree Parkway. Rowe said the property has been sold and representatives for Tesla have applied for building permits.

Denver-based Game Creek Holdings, a real estate development and investment firm, is seeking approval for new building facades and signage to reflect its client's branding and colors.

The request is scheduled to be considered Monday by the village's Appearance Review Commission, an advisory panel that makes recommendations to the village board.

Village records estimate the construction value of the proposed building upgrades at $1.1 million.

"I'm not at liberty to say anything about this project," Game Creek co-founder Jonathan Power said Thursday.

On its website, Game Creek says it seeks infill projects in markets with high demand. The mission is to create exceptional projects in partnership with "progressive, forward-thinking companies and individuals."

The Libertyville location would be Tesla's second in Lake County. The company already has a dealership in Highland Park, as well as in Chicago, Lisle, Schaumburg and Westmont. According to a recent Associated Press report, Tesla is the world leader in electric vehicle sales but is facing increased competition.

Automakers believe electric vehicles will dominate the industry in the future, the report said. Polls showed a "substantial majority" of Americans would buy an electric vehicle if it cost less, if more charging stations existed and if a wider variety of models were available.

"There's a lot of strength in that vehicle core we've developed," Rowe said of the Mile of Cars. "We would hope that's what sets us apart."

Taxes from vehicle sales long have been a key revenue source for Libertyville.

In 2020, vehicle sales generated about $3.9 million in sales tax, about 56% of the village's total of $6.94 million. In 2019, vehicle sales accounted for about $4.9 million, 57% of the total $7.86 million from all categories.

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