Westfield Chicago Ridge Mall. | File photo
Updated: June 2, 2013 6:34AM
The folks who run the Hawk Ford dealership in Oak Lawn would love to again sell cars in the parking lot at Chicago Ridge Mall for a few days this summer.
But the dealership’s general manager, Jim Muisenga, is balking at the village’s asking price.
The village board informed the dealership that it must pay a $5,000 fee before it can sell cars from a tent in a lot at the mall, Ridgeland Avenue and 95th Street.
While the village’s price “is not unreasonable,” Muisenga said the added expense would make it hard for the dealership to turn a profit on the three-day event that would probably be held in June.
“We have to give x amount of dollars to Sears (for using part of their lot) plus the $5,000 to the village. How many cars do we have to sell just to recoup that?” he said.
Add in the cost of staffing, computers and around-the-clock security “and it gets to be a pretty expensive proposition,” Muisenga said.
Village Clerk Chuck Tokar, who was elected mayor April 9 and takes office at the end of May, doesn’t see the board budging after it approved the ordinance assessing the $5,000 fee.
Tokar said the Hawk Ford tent sale last year was a “pretty major scene. (The board) realized it takes away from other people. There’s a gentleman who has a used-car lot on Ridgeland Avenue. It’s direct competition for him, a guy who pays property taxes here in town.”
Muisenga said he’s looking at alternative sites but has not ruled out a return to the mall site and paying the village fee.
Tokar said another issue is that Chicago Ridge has yet to receive its share of sales tax revenue from the 25 to 30 vehicles Muisenga said were sold at the mall last summer.