New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann called the proposed development at the northeast corner of Route 30 and Cedar Road a "win-win" for businesses and residents. | Erin Gallagher/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 17, 2014 6:03AM
New Lenox hopes to create a “quaint” downtown, possibly within the year, and not spend taxpayers’ money to do it.
The village board is considering buyng four parcels on the northeast corner of Route 30 and Cedar Road as part of a three-part project. The parcels would be a total redevelopment, including the BP, dry cleaners, House of Hughes and Pit Stop Bar, Mayor Tim Baldermann said at the meeting Monday.
“We are hoping we never have to spend a penny as a village,” Baldermann said.
The goal is to resell the land to developers for retail commercial businesses, which could be open as early as Fall of 2015. At that time, the village will not offer typical sales tax incentives, since the village negotiated the purchases for $1 million less than a previous attempt by another developer, Baldermann said.
With new sales tax revenue and money saved from would-be tax abatements, Baldermann wants to build a new Metra train station. The existing structure is a historical landmark, which makes repairs or updates nearly impossible, he said.
The village will not announce the names of interested businesses until contracts are finalized. The mayor described two interested businesses as “somewhat local,” and “huge.”
“We want to create more of the quaint walkable downtown area,” said Nancy Hoehn, economic development director.
A third area project is Lincoln Station, a 16-acre planned luxury residential development behind the train and fire stations. It is on the planning commission agenda with four proposed 6-story buildings.
“Having that type of residences come to the area will help draw the types of businesses that we are seeking,” she said. “We want that to be a vital area that is going to jump start other things to happen on Route 30.”
The cost to purchase BP is $1.65 million, the dry cleaners is $309,000, the Pit Stop is $375,000 and the House of Hughes is $505,000. Trustee Nancy Dye said the business owners were willing partners in the negotiations.
The development will clean up older areas, create new jobs and add sales tax revenues, Baldermann said, calling it “a great thing.” The purchase of the four parcels is scheduled for a board vote on June 23.