'High sales tax generator' could replace former Palatine Menards, Schwantz says
Two major redevelopment initiatives are occurring in Palatine, with village officials saying they are trying to strike a deal with a potential buyer for a long-vacant home improvement store, while a health club plans to move into a shuttered supermarket.
Mayor Jim Schwantz and Village Manager Reid Ottesen touched on those developments and other topics during the annual State of the Village presentation Wednesday. The Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the event, which drew a crowd of business owners and residents.
Although he said he cannot yet reveal the business' name, Schwantz said the village is in discussions for "a very high sales tax generator" to acquire the old Menards store along Rand Road on Palatine's northeast side.
On the village's southwestern end, Crunch Fitness plans to redevelop about half a Dominick's Finer Foods at Euclid Avenue and Quentin Road that was part of an overall chain shutdown in December 2013.
"We're not just sitting back hoping things come, hoping things are going to be here and hoping things get better," Schwantz said.
Palatine bought 9 acres and the 52,000-square-foot Menards for $8 million in 2009, after the store closed when a new location opened in Long Grove. Since then, the property has been used on weekends by Wolff's Flea Market, which leases it from the village for $120,000 a year, along with paying property taxes and other expenses.
Wolff's has been a good tenant, Schwantz said, but it is not the ultimate use the village wants for the property. He said the village expects to continue negotiations on the site next week.
"It's not just the village and one person, it's a couple of people," Schwantz said after the State of the Village program. "Anytime you're dealing with that, it takes a little bit of finagling and meetings to get to the common ground."
Crunch Fitness is scheduled to enter the formal village approval process Feb. 13 for its proposal to take over roughly half the Dominick's at Regency Plaza. That's when the advisory zoning board of appeals is set to hold a public hearing on the fitness club's request for a special-use permit it needs to operate in the former supermarket space.
"I'm glad that the owners of the property thought outside of the box and looked for other uses," Schwantz said.
Responding to an audience question on the village's commitment to the northeast side, Ottesen said new businesses have been brought to the Rand Road-Dundee Road corridor and that public safety is a priority.
Ottesen noted a Verizon store, Panera Bread Co. and Mattress Firm recently opened on the northeast corner of Rand and Dundee, replacing the troubled Idols Sports Bar and Grill the village closed in 2010.