Belle Tire's suburban push could come to Buffalo Grove next

Belle Tire's rapid expansion into the Chicago suburbs could soon roll into Buffalo Grove.

The Michigan-based company is proposing to build one of its tire, wheel and auto repair stores as part of the Ricky Rockets Fuel Center development at 704 E. Lake-Cook Road. The site already includes a gas station and car wash, and a self-storage facility is planned.

The village board last week referred the proposed 9,800-square-foot, one-story building to its plan commission for further review.

The plan calls for 10 service bays at the shop for tire installation, minor auto repairs and oil changes. All repair, installation and tire storage will happen inside the building, according to the plan.

"Belle Tire does everything surrounding the tire - tires, wheels, brakes, struts. No engine repair, no bodywork, anything like that," said Branden Ferro of Christopher Enright Architects, the project's engineers, architects and development coordinators.

Hours of operation would be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. It would be closed on Sundays.

Belle Tire, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, is privately owned by the Barnes family. It was started in 1922 by Sam Waze and was named after his wife, Belle.

The company now employs more than 2,000 people at more than 130 locations in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Its 21 Illinois locations include Palatine, Villa Park, Naperville, Aurora, St. Charles, West Chicago, Elgin, Batavia and Carpentersville, and construction is underway at 13 more in the state.

"Their goal was 60 stores in the Chicagoland area," Ferro said.

Buffalo Grove trustees said the business appears to be a great fit next to Ricky Rockets.

"I can't think of a better use in a better location," Trustee Lester Ottenheimer III said. "It's almost custom-made for it, considering what we have there. And I'm thrilled to see that that part of the village is really developing, because it's been nothing for a long time."

  The new Ricky Rockets Fuel Center at 704 E. Lake-Cook Road in Buffalo Grove may soon have a new neighbor. Michigan-based Belle Tire hopes to build one of its tire sales and auto repair shops next door. Steve Zalusky/, 2022
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