Tinley Park plans to lasso Golden Corral
BY STEVE METSCH email@example.com January 23, 2013 6:28PM
Updated: February 25, 2013 12:45PM
After further review, Tinley Park plans to offer tax breaks to bring a Golden Corral restaurant to town.
The developer said the restaurant could be open by late July or early August at 6803 W. 159th St., just west of a Brown’s Chicken restaurant.
Two weeks ago, at the urging of Village Trustee Greg Hannon, the village board’s finance and economic development committee decided to delay action and review the proposal to offer tax breaks because Golden Corral is a national chain. Hannon said it would set a bad precedent because the village prefers to offer breaks to small mom-and-pop businesses along Oak Park Avenue.
Tuesday night, however, the committee approved offering incentives that would drop the estimated annual property taxes from $231,000 to $92,396 for each of the next 10 years.
Approval from the village board is expected Feb. 5.
Without the incentives, developer Bhavin Patel said, it would be impossible for him and his partners to build the 11,000-square-foot restaurant that is expected to create 100 to 120 full- and part-time jobs.
“We couldn’t make the numbers work without this,” Patel said.
Village Trustee Dave Seaman said the incentive offer made sense because there are no guarantees another development there could generate as much tax revenue as Golden Corral. The village expects the restaurant to generate $3.5 million to $4 million in annual sales.
Even with the tax break, the Golden Corral will bring in twice as much property tax revenue as does the vacant land, said Ivan Baker, the village’s director of economic development.
The village also would reduce building permit fees by half, a savings of $14,000. And sales tax revenue would not be shared until the restaurant achieves more than $5 million in annual taxable sales, which Baker said is not expected for several years.
Hannon wasn’t at the meeting but previously said the restaurant wouldn’t need tax breaks because it’s on busy 159th Street. But Trustee Brian Maher said Tuesday that “it’s not on a busy intersection like Harlem Avenue.”
Maher smiled and predicted “Greg will probably vote ‘no.’ ”
He’s right, Hannon said Wednesday in a phone interview.
“I know they put some parameters on it (approval),” Hannon said. “The building has to be a minimum of 10,000 square feet. It has to be a national chain. But it’s not the type of development that in the past we have offered incentives.
“I understand the need, I just have some concerns that this is going to start a precedent that we won’t be able to control.”
Mayor Ed Zabrocki supports the tax break. Golden Corral, he said, “No. 1, is the premier cafeteria-type restaurant chain in existence. No. 2, their advertising is aggressive. No. 3, something close to my heart, they have good food. And No. 4, it’s a family-type restaurant with no liquor.
”Senior citizens love that place,” Zabrocki, 70, said, joking.
The developer, Zabrocki said, “is no neophyte, and comes in here with experience.”
Patel and his partners operate several Subway restaurants in the Cincinnati area.