Tag Archives: Prairie Grove Commons

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.

Walgreens delays construction in SG

by Susan O’Neill

The Walgreen Company will delay building in Sugar Grove until 2012.

Until a couple of weeks ago, Sugar Grove officials had been told Walgreens would break ground for a drug store on a 2-acre site at the northwest corner of Route 47 and the Galena Boulevard extension, with plans to open by year’s end.

However, Sugar Grove Community Development Director Rich Young said Walgreens representatives said they are taking a step backward and waiting for the economy to pick up before building in Sugar Grove.

“We’re told it does fit their business model,” Village President Sean Michels said. “We’re disappointed they’re not going to open it sooner.”

At the end of last year, the Village Board reviewed the Walgreens’ plan, as well as plans for the first phase of the 44-acre Prairie Grove Commons development, in which the store would be located. The first phase covers the portion of the property south of The Landings and north of Galena Boulevard extended, on the west side of Route 47.

Michels said the Village Board still plans to approve the annexation agreement with Prairie Grove Commons developers at the next regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 3. The agreement will include approval of the preliminary and final plat of the Walgreens site and a rezoning of the entire property for a commercial Planned Unit Development (PUD).

The developers would have to come back before the board for approval on plans for the remaining lots, those north of Galena Boulevard and west of where the Walgreens will be, as well as those south of Galena to Route 30.

Michels said the developers hope to attract some big box stores, such as Kohl’s, as well as others to the development. They had hoped that the presence of a Walgreens would be a factor in encouraging the others to come.

Although the annexation agreement does not include an economic incentive for Walgreens, the village has worked out the details of an incentive plan to attract some of the larger users. He said the incentive will be in the form of a sales tax rebate to offset some of the developer’s costs for roadway and other improvements.

Michels said the time clock for the incentive package begins running once the annexation agreement is signed. Young said the timeframe for the agreement, which gives the developers a certain percentage of sales tax receipts each year, is for a term of 14 years. He said the agreement is set up to encourage development sooner.

The Walgreen Company, which announced a new chief executive officer on Monday, unveiled a strategy in October 2008 to increase its overall performance, including slowing future store openings to focus on leveraging its more than 6,600 existing stores across the country and Puerto Rico.

According to its website, the company, which remains committed to convenient shopping for its customers through locating stores within five miles of two-thirds of all Americans, is also committed to decreasing its capital spending by $1 billion over the next three years.

“We’re still hopeful that they’ll come sooner than 2012,” Young said. “That’s what we’ve been told for now.”

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.