Northbrook village board approves incentive agreement for Tesla dealership

Possibly as soon as next year, Northbrook residents may have a convenient location to buy a new Tesla.

Construction should start this fall with a goal to open up a 48,000-square-foot sales, service and delivery center by 2024, Village President Kathryn Ciesla said at the board's March 14 meeting.

Northbrook's village board approved zoning and an economic incentive agreement for a Tesla automobile dealership at 1200 Skokie Blvd.

A topic long-discussed, at the meeting trustees approved the zoning considerations on consent and a resolution for the agreement by a 4-0 vote. Trustees Johannah Hebl and Muriel Collison were absent for the vote.

Village Attorney Steve Elrod said the agreement was "very protective of the village."

Elrod said Tesla will spend about $25 million to buy the property, develop it and build the dealership. Tesla seeks a total incentive from Northbrook of $1.6 million.

Part of the protection is that incentives to the developer won't be provided until Tesla is up and running and the village starts receiving sales taxes.

"Importantly, this is not a general debt obligation of the village," Elrod said. "The village's obligation to pay the incentive kicks in only if sales tax is received. And, finally, there is no impact on the property tax that will be received by the village and all of the other taxing districts."

For every $640,000 the village receives in sales tax revenue, it will rebate $320,000 up to a total of $1.6 million. Should the village receive $1,280,000 of sales taxes in one year, it will then pay the developer $640,000.

"It's nothing that we haven't seen before, this is just structured somewhat differently to address the development costs," Trustee Bob Israel said of the incentive agreement.

Elrod said Tesla's development team was "extremely cooperative," in meetings with the municipality.

"This is the option they favored," Ciesla said, "so we're very happy to work with you on this, and we could not be more excited for you to come into the community."

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