Schaumburg approves $3 million in funding for proposed Tony's Fresh Market

Schaumburg trustees Tuesday voted 5-1 to approve $3 million in village funding and the recommendation of a Cook County tax incentive to enable Itasca-based Tony's Fresh Market to renovate the former Dominick's in Town Square and open a grocery store of their own there by July.

The total $13 million project is expected to create 200 new jobs and bring the village more than $300,000 annually in sales and food & beverage taxes.

Trustee Mark Madej cast the dissenting vote, explaining afterward that he thought a theater or some other type of entertainment venue would be a more effective new anchor for Town Square than a grocery store.

Other village officials concurred that the approved project wouldn't happen without government assistance. Economic Development Director Matt Frank said Tony's wouldn't pursue the project without assistance as it wouldn't break even for more than five years.

That 65,000-square-foot Dominick's closed, along with what remained of the chain, at the end of 2013. But despite Tony's purchasing the property at 200 S. Roselle Road in 2015, it was kept vacant through this spring by Albertsons - the parent company of Jewel - exercising lease extensions to fend off competition.

Schaumburg Mayor Tom Dailly said that failure to seize the opportunity that's just presented itself could risk many more years of vacancy in what was always intended to be a vital anchor to Town Square at the southwest corner of Schaumburg and Roselle roads.

"I look at it as reinvestment in the town center to revitalize it," Dailly said.

The assistance comes with responsibilities for Tony's. The village's first $1.5 million would be paid upon opening of the store in July, while the remaining $1.5 million would follow on the third anniversary of that opening.

Furthermore, Tony's would face financial repercussions if it didn't maintain 200 jobs throughout the 12 years of the still pending Class 7B property tax incentive from the Cook County Board, Frank said.

If approved, the Class 7B incentive would cut property taxes nearly in half over its 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.

A date has not yet been set for the proposed incentive's consideration by the county board.

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Schaumburg hopes to avoid 5 more years of vacant Dominick's site

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