Buffalo Grove board moves forward with $150 million Town Center plan

For years, Buffalo Grove residents have challenged village presidents and trustees to solve the puzzle of rejuvenating the struggling Town Center development.

On Monday, Village President Beverly Sussman and the board finally could say the pieces are fitting together.

The board authorized a memorandum of understanding with Kensington Development Group LLC to pave the way for a proposed $150 million redevelopment of the shopping center at Lake-Cook and McHenry roads.

"In my first election 13 years ago, the first question I was asked was, 'What are you doing about the Town Center?' And ever since then, I'm asked that question all the time," Sussman said. "So, it's a wonderful feeling to be able to say we are trying to do something about the Town Center right now, starting this evening."

Trustee Gregory Pike said the project should be a catalyst for development elsewhere in the village.

"As more businesses come to the village, this will eventually diversify our tax base to help fund the operations of the village," he said. "Basically, this will help reduce the tax burden of our residents over time."

The proposal includes construction of a 37,500-square-foot store for an unnamed national grocery chain and a 7-story, 275- to 300-unit apartment building with 18,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.

Other proposed elements include restaurants, entertainment venues and a "Central Park" in the middle of the site that would host concerts and civic events.

As part of its deal with Kensington, the village would provide up to $24.75 million in financial incentives through a tax increment financing district - in which property taxes that go to local governments are frozen at a certain point and any above that go into the redevelopment - and a 50% rebate of new sales tax growth from the development.

Officials said the memorandum approved Monday does not bind the village to anything but allows good faith negotiations for the final terms of the redevelopment agreement.

Deputy Village Manager Christopher Stilling described the project as the village's "single largest redevelopment."

"This is an exciting moment tonight," he said. "The redevelopment of the Town Center property has been long identified as the highest priority of the village."

Kensington representatives outlined some of their plans for the site for the village board Monday, noting that the agreement is the culmination of three years of work.

Company principal Jay Eck said the grocery store will be a critical element of the redevelopment, because "grocery stores are really the lifeblood of retail now." Elsewhere, there will be a focus on restaurants because of the activity they create, he said.

John Schoditsch, another principal with Kensington, said some existing Town Center elements will remain, such as the separately owned Bowlero bowling alley on the north side, and the Burger King and Boston Market restaurants. The existing 30,000-square-foot retail building to the north also is crucial to the redevelopment, he said.

"There's a lot of great tenants south of Old Checker Road and north of Old Checker Road that we don't want to turn our backs on. We want to make sure they're part of the development," Schoditsch said.

Buffalo Grove's village board gives Lake-Cook TIF district a thumbs-up

Developer outlines plan for revamped Buffalo Grove Town Center

Why new Buffalo Grove plan is winning the support others could not

Grocery store, restaurants and more. That's what deal could bring to Buffalo Grove Town Center

The Buffalo Grove village board approved a memorandum of understanding Monday on a proposed $150 million redevelopment of the Town Center property at Lake-Cook Road and Route 83. The deal includes up to $24.75 million in financial incentives from the village. Courtesy of Buffalo Grove
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.