Tag Archives: James White

SGVB discusses incoming American Heartland Bank

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday discussed the new American Heartland Bank that will be located at Route 47 and Wheeler Road. A minor PUD amendment was required since the applicant, American Heartland Bancshares, Inc., did not have the architectural plans available when it was initially approved on Oct. 30, 2012.

James White, the attorney representing American Heartland Bank, presented the architectural plans to the board and specified how they adhered to the suggestions that were previously made.

The board discussed the aesthetics of the building and the continuity that the bank will have with other buildings on Route 47. Many of the board members had positive comments about the new bank.

“I think we will be lucky to have it in town,” village trustee Kevin Geary said.

In addition, a bike path will be located near the bank.

“We’re not sure of the exact location yet,” Community Development Director, Richard Young said.

The only issued raised during the discussion concerned the bank’s outdoor lighting.

“We want to have continuity with the parking lot lights. We need to take a look at what other businesses have in the surrounding area,” Village President Sean Michels said.

Village approves agreement for Prairie Grove Commons

by Susan O’Neill
The Village Board approved an annexation agreement for the 44-acre Prairie Grove Commons commercial development on Tuesday, a center on the west side of Route 47 and Galena Boulevard extended, where the Walgreens is expected to open a store.

Village officials also approved the final plan for the Walgreens store, even though the company has delayed its construction to 2012.

The village’s hope is to attract big box stores to the property south of Galena Boulevard; to that end, the annexation agreement includes a sales tax rebate for the property from Galena Boulevard south to Route 30.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” said attorney James White, who represents the developers.

He explained that the agreement gives the developers an incentive with which to attract retailers to a “green” area, one in which little development currently exists. In addition, the village receives a share of the sales tax, and the School District receives its share of the property taxes.

The term for the rebate agreement is 14 years. The clock starts ticking either two years from the signing of the annexation agreement or when the first occupancy permit is issued, whichever comes first.

The amount the retailers receive back is higher (1.25 percent of sales) for the first four years, to offset the costs of infrastructure associated with the development. The percentage is reduced for the remaining 10 years, with the village receiving 1 percent and the retailers receiving the other 1 percent.

When the 14 years are up, the village receives the full 2 percent of sales in taxes. The Walgreens store is not included in the sales tax rebate agreement.

The Walgreens store and drive-through pharmacy will be located at the northwest corner of Route 47 and Galena Boulevard.

Growth shifts from homes to stores

by Susan O’Neill

            With a struggling economy in the background, the village of Sugar Grove saw a shift of focus in 2008. In previous years much effort was spent planning for residential growth, but this year it was spent on bringing commercial projects into the village.
 
Sugar Grove is recognized
            Sugar Grove began the new year by celebrating BusinessWeek.com‘s choice of the village as the best affordable suburb in Illinois. Sugar Grove was picked as a relatively affordable community that offers the lowest crime rate, finest schools and the best quality of life for the money in the state.

            Sugar Grove learned in June that Standard & Poors upgraded the village’s bond rating from an A to an A+.

            Settler’s Ridge, Sugar Grove’s conservation development, earned a Conservation and Native Landscaping Award from the Chicago Wilderness Corporation Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its landscaping and innovative water works systems. The water works system also received the Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association Chicago Metro Chapter.
 
The economy and growth
            The Settler’s Ridge Subdivision was dealt a blow in April when developer Kimball Hill Homes requested bankruptcy protection. The development, which was to include 2,678 homes, was put up for sale after only 100 residences were built. Kimball Hill announced it would go out of business at year’s end.

            New home starts dropped significantly, leading the village to renegotiate annexation agreements with developers of projects in progress.

            Although residential development lagged in Sugar Grove in 2008, commercial development continued to move forward.

            “It’s been a busy year,” Village President Sean Michels said. “There has been $65 million in investment in the village.”

            Multiple commercial/office developments either opened or expanded, and many new businesses opened, ranging from two new preschools to a family practice physician and other retail outlets, locations like The Landings, Sugar Grove Center and the Capital Professional Center saw growth throughout the year.
 
Municipal development
            Groundbreaking for the new Sugar Grove Public Library building took place on May 3, although voters rejected a measure to increase the tax rate to increase the library’s operating expenses.

            The Sugar Grove Fire District moved nine firefighters to the Oswego Fire District station on Galena Road in July to meet response time standards in the area from the station on Route 30 and Municipal Drive.
 
Airport growth
            Growth is taking place at the Aurora Municipal Airport in Sugar Grove as well, with two companies opening new locations: one in December and another slated for 2009.
 
New church in village

            The Rockford Diocese created the first new Roman Catholic parish in almost 20 years in Sugar Grove this year. The St. Katharine Drexel parish holds weekend masses at the Kaneland John Shields Elementary School until a church can be built on land donated by the Jerry Rich family. The parish priest, Fr. Robert Jones, began in time to conduct Advent services on Nov. 29.

            What began several years ago as a plan to build a new separate village hall and police facility based on population projections of 60,000 plus was ultimately reduced at year’s end to the reconfiguration of the Police Department reception area for increased protection and safety of police personnel.
 
Infrastructure
            Construction also began this year on the Municipal Drive and Galena Boulevard extension, and plans moved forward for the extension of the village’s water main out to the Kaneland Harter Road Middle School.
 
SG joins county program
            The Sugar Grove Village Board approved a measure to join Ride in Kane, a county-wide program to provide transportation to eligible residents in need. With participation by the Sugar Grove Township, Park District and Public Library, the village will receive $4,000 from the Regional Transportation Authority. Services will begin July 1, 2009.
 
Future growth
            Robert Arthur Land Company in October brought plans for an active adult community to the Village Board for its feedback. The 190-acre development would include a mix of single-family homes for active adults and rental apartments and condominiums targeting adults over 55 on land originally set aside for the Settler’s Ridge development.

            Village officials reviewed plans in November for a Walgreens store scheduled to open in 2009 at the northwest corner of Route 47 and the Galena Boulevard extension. Attorney James White said the developer, the Daly Group, LLC, hopes to attract some big-box stores to the development.

            Michels said there are a couple of other smaller retailers, including an auto service center and a small hardware store that the village is talking to for possible location in the Prairie Grove Commons, south of Galena Boulevard and west of Route 47.

            The village hopes to take advantage of potential infrastructure funding that may be available in 2009 through the new federal administration’s stimulus package. Village staff submitted two infrastructure projects to the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus for the Harter Road water main extension and the Municipal Drive extension from Galena Boulevard to Wheeler Road.

            Michels said the village is still working on a full interchange at I-88 and Route 47. There is currently a feasibility study underway for the interchange and that is going well, he said.

            According to Michels, when the construction market begins to pick up again, Sugar Grove should be in a good position to take advantage of it with the essential infrastructure in place.