Foxtail on the Lake in line to receive $750,000 from Des Plaines
The entrepreneurs converting a former Des Plaines church into a restaurant are in line to receive a $750,000 financial package from the city.
The money would be for the future Foxtail on the Lake restaurant, which is expected to open late this summer at 1177 Howard Ave.
After discussing several options during its meeting Monday night, the city council settled on a $300,000 business assistance grant and a sales-tax rebate worth $450,000 over time.
With a 6-2 vote, council members directed administrators to formalize that proposal and bring it back for their approval at an unspecified date.
Foxtail on the Lake is being built inside the Des Plaines Park District's Lakeview Center. The building, which is in Lake Park and overlooks Lake Opeka, formerly was the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.
The park district bought the roughly 3-acre property in 2021. The new restaurant will occupy most of the building's ground floor.
Owned by David Villegas and Tim Canning, Foxtail on the Lake will be a sister eatery to their Downers Grove restaurant, the Foxtail.
A renovation and a 3,000-square-foot expansion have been underway since fall 2022.
The project is expected to cost about $6 million, up from an original $4.3 million estimate, 5th Ward Alderman Carla Brookman said Monday. The site is within her ward.
In the towns offering them, municipal grants for businesses traditionally are awarded as incentives ahead of construction. But Brookman has publicly been championing the project and possibly financial assistance for months.
On Monday, Brookman called the church-turned-restaurant a unique venue that will "enhance and benefit the entire community."
No aldermen disagreed -- but the 8th Ward's Mike Charewicz preferred giving the business $200,000 cash and a $550,000 tax-sharing plan rather than a full rebate.
Second Ward Alderman Colt Moylan said he was OK with the $300,000 payout. But like Charewicz, he wanted a tax-sharing plan.
Neither of those proposals gained the support of the council. Moylan and Charewicz subsequently cast the only "no" votes against moving forward with the $300,000 grant and a tax rebate.
Fourth Ward Alderman Dick Sayad spoke in favor of the proposal, saying Foxtail on the Lake could be the start of a local business boom.
"Let's get this thing rolling," he said.
Des Plaines' business assistance program has a $350,000 budget this year. Funds are awarded for up to half the cost of a project, and work must be completed before payment is made.