ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 – 6:00 p.m.
Council Chambers – Countryside City Hall
Ald. Sean McDermott, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. He called the Roll of those physically present:
PRESENT: Ald. Sean McDermott, Chairman, City Admin. Gail Paul,
Ald. Robert Pondelicek, Ald. James Jasinski, Treas. Steven Jasinski.
Also Present: Clerk Sweeney, Ald. Michalczyk, Ald. Musillami, Ald. Von Drasek, City Atty. Eric Yehl, Clerk Sweeney, Asst. Admin. Peterson, CDP Swanson, Police Bd. Meb. Burdett, Louis Schriber, Aaron Roth, Andrew Goodman, Shorewood/GMX, Atty. Tom Bayer.
1. Approval of Minutes – September 5, 2012. Ald. Pondelicek moved to approve the minutes of September 5, 2012 as presented, seconded by Ald. Jasinski and carried by unanimous voice vote.
2. Discussion of Redevelopment Agreement (RDA) between the City of Countryside and Countryside Development Partners, LLC, and making recommendation on approval to the City Council. Chairman McDermott introduced Tom Bayer, legal counsel, Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, who discussed the final two issues.
3. Mr. Bayer stated that the agreement in the Council packet is unchanged after the discussions taking place this morning. The two points referred to by Chairman McDermott relate to the length of time for the tenant restriction period. The pre-approved list of tenants will remain in place for a two-year time period – that begins to run when the developer receives the Certificate of Completion for the project – actually when the project is ready to be occupied by the tenant. During that same period the City will retain ownership of Lot 3-B, the southernmost LaGrange Road parcel that abuts the exit road and the detention pond. That will be subject to three restrictions during that same time period: there could not be a vitamin store, a coffee store or a steak restaurant. These restrictions are also lifted after two years.
4. The second item is earnest money — $25,000 escrow account to be used for deposit on the two parcels of property – one on Joliet Road and one on LaGrange Road. The issue is whether the earnest money is non-refundable or whether there are instances where it is refundable. The parties agreed that if there was an environmental condition that prevented the developer from proceeding with the intended use, and discovered within 30 days after approval of the agreement, that would be a basis for not going forward and receiving the $25,000 back. That is also true for title exceptions. If there was an exception re: easement running through where the building pad would be, would also allow Shorewood an escape. The final instance would be if the City defaulted on one of its obligations under the agreement – including site improvements and base core of the parking lots in place so that construction may proceed on the restaurant and the three-tenant building. The closing takes place 30 days after that occurs. If the City does not provide site improvements in a timely manner, that would be a default If asphalt
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plants close before the binder can be put down, that may be done in Spring without the City being in default.
5. Mr. Bayer noted that the City Council approved an agreement to provide for engineering design for City improvements to go forward. Those design improvements were funded by $40,000 from the developer. Upon closing that amount of money will be credited towards the purchase price. If there is no closing, the City would keep that money and those design costs would have been funded by the developer even though they are not proceeding with the project.
6. Other than that, everything remains unchanged. Those were the only two issues discussed this morning and the agreement remains the same. Chairman McDermott thanked Mr. Bayer for his presentation; there were no questions from Council.
7. Mr. Louis Schriber, Shorewood Development Group, partners with GMX, provided an update for Council. They are at a signed lease with Texas Roadhouse. Starbucks and Vitamin Shoppe – they are at signature and waiting to get title and other documents.
They are in negotiations with both Naf Naf and Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt for the middle space in the multi-tenant building; both are at the LOI stage.
8. Regarding Lot 3-B, there is still ongoing activity, while Shorewood is fully aware that they do not have exclusive marketing. He stated that they are working with Beer Market, they go hand in hand with Tom & Eddie’s, an upscale burger concept, with 7 stores in the Chicagoland area. This fits the unique criteria concept – Beer Market takes take-out orders from surrounding area eateries like Tom & Eddie’s , Hooters, etc., and does carry-outs – bringing food in while patrons watch the games and hang out. They will present this more formally at a later date. Chairman McDermott thanked him for the update. Ald. Pondelicek moved to approve the RDA as presented and bring it to the city Council, seconded by Ald. Jasinski and carried by Roll Call vote – 6/0/0. Chairman McDermott thanked Gail Paul for her tremendous work on this project; Council agreed and applauded her efforts.
9. Discussion on Fresh market proposal for the property located at 5631 S. LaGrange Road. Mr. Bob Vitogiannis presented his concept to the Council. He stated it is a mini-supermarket with prepared foods; everything is fresh – groceries, produce, meats, fish, service deli, bakery, pastry shop and complete hot food section. The store will be a smaller version of Wegmans on the east coast. Ms. Paul stated that she advised the committee re: his summary and the Wegman website. Mr. Vitogiannis stated that his store will feature prepared foods to take home with their food departments open until 10 p.m. The committee reviewed the proposed site plan #2 showing a 40,000 s.f. building and parking for 170 cars. Treas. Jasinski questioned the statement of estimated sales of $2 million per month – that is a ball park figure. He expects $500,000 per week in sales – Ald. Michalczyk asked if their sales volume is higher than Jewels or Dominicks – the answer is yes. They service the public from 7 am to 10 pm – the store is open to 11 pm. Service is their #1 feature.
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10. Ald. Jasinski discussed the special zoning request for a 10-foot setback rather than a 25-foot setback as required. He also seeks two curb cuts on 57th St., one for customer access one for truck access. At present no businesses have multiple curb cuts on residential streets. Truck off-loading on a residential street is a concern. Trucks may come east from LaGrange Road; that will affect at least seven residences on the block which is a noise concern. Is the building footprint too large for the available location?
11. Mr. Vitogiannis stated it will be an enclosed garage where delivery trucks back in and shut off the engine to avoid exhaust fumes and noise. There will be a 10-foot setback with a masonry wall all around separating commercial from residential. Ald. Pondelicek stated that 200 parking spaces are required per Code; they only have 170 spaces. It is doubtful whether more than that number are needed at one time.
12. Mr. Mark Burdett, 9814 W. 57th St., lives five houses from this development, and opposes the curb cuts on 57th St. It is the only E-W street going from East Avenue to Brainard Ave. and not protected by a traffic signal at LaGrange Road. Due to the high volume of McDonald’s business at the corner, it is one of the most congested, accident-prone streets in the community. The street is one block from an elementary school. He would urge the committee to not allow truck access to this residential street.
Chairman McDermott noted that this is a preliminary design and that further negotiations are warranted.
13. Discussion on Planet Fitness proposal for the property located at 5631 S. LaGrange Road. Mr. Anthony Rufo introduced himself and his partner Richard Petrone.
Mr. Rufo described his proposal for Planet Fitness. They have a very successful business model that is a benefit to the community for two basic reasons: their membership price is $10 per month and they provide a very clean operation with state-of-the-art equipment. Their theme is judgment free zone – no critics – this is a gym for average people; they don’t cater to body-builders, etc.; 70% of their members have never belonged to any gym. An average gym may have 3-5,000 members; their gyms have 8-12,000 members because of the price and the relaxed atmosphere. They are offering to purchase the property for $1.7 million and pay an annual PILOT fee of $75,000.
14. Ald. Jasinski noted they are open 24 hours and questioned the staffing level during the overnight hours; Mr. Rufo stated that two employees would be available. Trainers are on the premises during the day, 9 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday. They have basic fitness equipment but do not have a pool. They are the #1 gym by number of members in America. The premises are kept spotless.
15. Ms. Paul asked whether they plan to use the entire property if the building is only 21,000 s.f. The answer is yes. They are also requesting a curb cut on 57th St. Mr. Rufo stated that entrance may be used by only 20% of the traffic. It is merely a convenience for patrons but they are amenable to moving it closer to LaGrange Road. Mr. Swanson commented that they are the sponsor of The Biggest Loser – would this location attract any on-site camera shoots. Mr. Rufo stated that there could be shows going on; they would seek approval of Council prior to any such event. They believe this is the perfect community for such a proposal.
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16. Mr. Mark Burdett, 9814 W. 57th St., stated that he still opposes the curb cut on 57th St. per his previous remarks. Even though there may be a pork chop cut forcing the traffic towards LaGrange Road, drivers find a way to get around it. He is still opposed to forcing traffic onto a residential street. It will be a mess. Mr. Rufo is interested in the flow of traffic through the parking area; there would be 147 parking spaces. Allowing for underground storm water detention would add 8-10 more parking spaces. The Zoning Code calls for one space per employee and parking spaces as determined by the PC/ZBA, per Mr. Swanson. The front yard setback would not be affected; their plans are flexible. The building will have two entrances on the front and side to help distribute the members.
17. Ms. Victoria Gans, 10221 – 5th Ave. Cutoff, suggested that a cul de sac may alleviate the traffic problems on 57th St. Ald. Jasinski stated there is no easy way to put a cul de sac in that street. Mr. Al Arneson, 121 W. Constance, discussed the PILOT fee – Mr. Rufo stated that they do sell clothing, tee shirts and soft drinks, but are willing to pay the PILOT fee to make up for lost sales tax. Chairman McDermott stated that this is a preliminary proposal and further negotiations are warranted.
18. There being no further business to discuss, Ald. Pondelicek moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ald. Jasinski and carried unanimously.
Chairman McDermott declared the meeting adjourned at 6:35.
ALD. SEAN MC DERMOTT, CHAIRMAN