Infiniti dealership wants to relocate, expand in Libertyville

Libertyville's key economic category could get a boost with village support of a proposal to relocate and expand Gregory Infiniti.

The village board on Tuesday unanimously accepted the recommendations of the advisory plan commission and approved a concept plan to relocate the dealership about a block south to the former Chase Bank location at 1201 S. Milwaukee Ave.

The approvals come with the promise that neighbor concerns about noise and other issues will be addressed as details are reviewed.

"We want to make sure the neighborhood is protected," Trustee Rich Moras said. "What really helps get it approved is when everything is properly controlled, like the sound."

As described, the new and expanded facility is planned for 24,800 square feet and would be the newest design Infiniti offers.

What was described as a stand-alone, state-of-the-art luxury car wash is part of the proposal. Noise from that operation is among the concerns of some residents in the neighboring Libertyville Ridge condos.

Dealership owner Greg Mauro told the board sales have jumped from 40 to 100 vehicles per month since he bought Field's Infiniti in early 2013 and he needs more room.

Mauro estimated annual revenue at $40 million and expected that figure to increase when sales and service moves to a new, larger building.

"This dealership is a high-end facility," he said of his plan.

Vehicle sales have been a key part of the village's economy for decades and its 12 auto dealerships generate a considerable amount of sales tax every year.

Mauro said his current location was unavailable to buy and he was considering moving to Vernon Hills when the Chase Bank site became available. The property is on Libertyville's southern border, on the west side of Milwaukee Avenue and near a commercial area in Vernon Hills anchored by Menards.

The Chase property is contoured and sloped and presented building challenges, Mauro said. Topography precluded the car wash from being attached to the dealership, he said, so it was designed as a stand-alone facility available to the public.

"Working with my design and construction team, I believe we have come up with a mutually acceptable site plan that retains the natural beauty of the property while fitting the various components needed for the venture to proceed," he told village officials.

Neighbors mainly were concerned with noise from the car wash but also had questions about lighting, speakers, truck traffic and a buffer fence.

Mauro said the car wash was extended to 130 feet in length and equipment will not operate when the doors are open to minimize noise.

"There's nothing like this," he said of the car wash to be known as Soapy Joe's.

  Gregory Infiniti hopes to build a new dealership about a block south of its current location on Milwaukee Avenue in southern Libertyville. Paul Valade/
  Gregory Infiniti in Libertyville plans to build a new dealership on the former Chase Bank property on the southwest corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Greentree Parkway. Paul Valade/
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