Woodman's Markets is eyeing a parcel of land near Rand and Cuba Roads for a possible store.
Headquartered in Janesville, WI, Woodman's wants to construct a store on the vacant land just north of the Atrium Garden Center, on the east side of Rand Road. Though technically located in Kildeer, the village of Lake Zurich would share in the store's sales tax revenues due to a recently-amended annexation agreement between Kildeer and Lake Zurich.
Those projected sales tax revenues remain confidential. The project could, however, add 250 jobs to the area "at a time when the economy is hurting as much as it is," said Village Administrator Bob Vitas.
"It would be a real boom for local employment," he added.
Discussions between Kildeer, Lake Zurich and Woodman's date back to January 2010, when the villages were first contacted by Woodman's and their property development partners, the Churchill Group. Until recently, the company's name hasn't been discussed publicly. At the Lake Zurich Village Board's Oct. 3 meeting, however, Vitas said "it's a project that (Woodman's) themselves have posted on their website." Lake Zurich is listed as a proposed location.
Part of what is stalling progress on the development, however, is the proposed access to the property. Woodman's Markets wants to add a signalized intersection on Rand Road, but the Illinois Department of Transportation hasn't granted such access. Representatives from all parties are set to meet and discuss the issue Oct. 14, Vitas said.
"Where we find ourselves today is where we found ourselves a year ago," Vitas said of the status of the project. Village leaders from Lake Zurich and Kildeer have held multiple meetings on the project, Vitas said. "We're at that juncture where this development is either going to happen or it's not."
Vitas said IDOT has very specific guidelines. One of those rules, he said, states that signalized intersections can't be located within a quarter mile of each other. Woodman's aims to place a signalized intersection just south of the existing South Old Rand intersection. The two intersections would be less than a quarter mile from each other.
At the most recent meeting between the village, Woodman's and IDOT officials, Vitas expected IDOT to review the plans and give their go-ahead.
"That did not turn out to be the case," he said.
Vitas said IDOT officials suggested that doing this could be possible should 3,000 lineal feet of additional lane be constructed on Route 12, but that option would be too expensive. Due to the annexation agreement between Kildeer and Lake Zurich, the villages are already expecting to split the projected $6 million cost to complete the already-proposed road upgrades. Vitas said it's possible that the $6 million bill could be funded by tax increment financing or a sales tax rebate.
Vitas added that there are other concerns to consider, including traffic.
"There are traffic impacts that would be experienced," he said.
At the board's Oct. 3 meeting, Trustee Tom Poynton expressed concern that sales at other stores — including ALDI, Walmart and Trader Joe's — could be negatively impacted with the construction of a new grocery store.