ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING
Tuesday, June 7, 2011 – 5:30 p.m.
Chamber Room – Countryside City Hall
1. Call to order.
2. Roll Call: Ald. Sean McDermott, Chairman, Ald. James Jasinski, Ald. Karen Michalczyk, Treasurer Steven Jasinski, Adm. Gail Paul
3. Approval of Minutes – May 12, 2011.
4. Discussion of options for proceeding with the development at Joliet and LaGrange Roads.
5. Other Business
6. Adjournment to executive session to discuss real estate.
COUNTRYSIDE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
TUESDAY, JUNE 7, 2011 – 5:30 P. M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS – CITY HALL
Ald. Sean McDermott, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. He called the Roll of those physically present:
PRESENT: Ald. Sean McDermott, Chairman, City Admin. Gail Paul,Ald. Karen Michalczyk, Ald. Jim Jasinski, Treas. Steve Jasinski.
ALSO PRESENT: Mayor Krzeminski, Clerk Sweeney, Atty. Peck, Ald. Pondelicek, Ald. Straza, Fin. Dir. Drazner, CDP Swanson, City. Eng. Fitzgerald.
Approval of Minutes
The first order of business was approval of the Minutes of May 12, 2011. Ald. Michalczyk moved to approve the minutes as presented, seconded by Ms. Paul and carried by unanimous voice vote.
Discussion of Options for Proceeding with the Development at
Joliet and LaGrange Roads
City Admin Ms. Paul and City Eng. Fitzgerald met to discuss options to move forward on the project. There are three options – 1) get another developer, 2) wait until the economy turns around – the City may lose some opportunities; and 3) the City will do the site work to move the project forward and find new end users. Mayor Krzeminski stated that a 4th option is to see what can be done with the existing properties rather than making major improvements — with the possibility of developing the Dodge and Ethan Allen properties since the Toyota property has been reduced.
Ms. Paul stated that the City should consider getting a land planner to lay out the acreage owned by the City. The staff needs direction from the Committee. Illinois Harley Davidson (ILHD) is prepared to do their own site work. Their contractor provided a figure for site work for the entire site -about $600,000 less than the Bradford quote (minus the ornamental street lights). One option is to work with this company since they provided early estimates .The City may want to go out for bids for $3.5 million.
The first task involves environmental clean up and demolition. Novotny & Assoc. is very familiar with the area and has the ability to prepare a bid packet in two weeks. The City could accept bids on each of the buildings or prepare a comprehensive plan. The only building that may be renovated is the Ethan Allen building; the other buildings are not usable. Mr. Fitzgerald’s firm could do a comprehensive demolition bid package with the City having the right to pull certain buildings out of the package. The committee approved the above proposal; Ms. Paul will present a bid packet.
The next component is engineering; Novotny is able to do the road engineering however they do hire out planners. The City has in-house capabilities with the GIS system to do general estimates, but for specific planning, she suggests either using Novotny’s people or send out RFP’s for land planners. This can be coordinated through Novotny’s office. Mr. Fitzgerald stated that the entire process could take six weeks. Ald. Jasinski suggested using Novotny’s land planners and doing both things at once. Demolition is independent of future land planning.
Ms. Paul has been in contact with several of the restaurants; Hooters is still interested and may be persuaded to locate to Joliet Road with incentives. Buffalo Wild Wings and Sonic are still interested. A car dealership in the City is interested in the Toyota property. Is the City amenable to that prospect? Many people are interested in the development – does the Committee want a car dealership there. Ald. Pondelicek suggested an upscale restaurant, like Olive Garden, rather than fast-food places. Mayor Krzeminski stated that City residents are not happy with Hooters. Ald. McDermott stated that the City wants to move in a different direction other than fast-food restaurants – while remaining diversified and not tied to one industry. Mayor Krzeminski suggested Dave Busters – there is only one restaurant in the Chicago area. It is a place for adults and kids; there are no activities for the youth age group. He stated that machine permits bring in tax revenue too.
Ms. Paul will take the lead and share information with the Committee. She will look at mid-level restaurants that showed interest like Chili’s and Texas Roadhouse. Is the City opposed to car dealers on that site – is that an option? She will get renovation numbers in June. Committee members said it must be considered. Ms. Paul will get a list of options and suggested another meeting in two weeks with end users. Discussion of various property moves within the City to free up space.
Ms. Paul suggested referring this matter to the Finance Committee – the previous intention was to sell the property to a developer and reimburse the developer with incentives until the TIF revenue came in. If the City is doing the site work, only $3.5 million is available so it must look at financing options – either a bond issue or a bank loan – this needs discussion with the Finance Director and Treasurer; the use of City reserves is too risky to consider.
Mr. Fitzgerald suggested two additions – allowance for a traffic signal on LaGrange Road in the amount of $250,000. The Bally’s stoplight will not service the development; the proposed light is near 61st St. by Home Depot. The lights are inter-connected and timing of signals would be optimized; the City should try to get a signal Mayor Krzeminski suggested many years ago to alleviate Countryside Plaza traffic was to have a light on the north side of JC Georges to line up with Home Depot. IDOT must approve any lights on LaGrange Road. Ald. Straza asked about Simon’s role re: the dual turn lanes exit out of the plaza; they never finished their improvement. Mr. Fitzgerald suggested doing a traffic study of the area and get a professional recommendation. The traffic use of the new development will dictate its needs; Novotny subs out the traffic engineering; their people have knowledge of the site. Consensus of the committee is to get the job done by Novotny.
Mr. Fitzgerald suggested more money for underground detention so as to utilize surface area –an additional $250,000 allowance – for a decorative pond with a fountain (retention with a wet bottom). Ms. Paul stated that considering these factors, $4 million is a more realistic figure, rather than $3.5 million.
Committee authorized Mr. Fitzgerald and Ms. Paul to proceed with demolition, traffic engineering and land planning bid packages as discussed above to begin immediately. Ms. Paul suggested adding the Triangle Park house to the demolition bid package. Committee agreed.
There being no further business to discuss, Ald. Michalczyk moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Treas. Jasinski and carried unanimously.
Chairman McDermott declared the meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.
ALD. SEAN MC DERMOTT, CHAIRMAN