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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

7-Eleven General Manager to Buy Subway Plaza

In the Board Room: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Central Court Plaza, Subway Plaza
The Central Court Plaza, or Subway Plaza, is seen in red in the image above provided by the Village of Park Forest.

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Mr. Tushar Pandya, General Manager of the Park Forest 7-Eleven, has put in a bid to buy the Subway plaza, called the Central Court Plaza by the Village. Mr. Pandya is a 14 year resident of the Village and serves as general manager of two other 7-Elevens and is an operator partner of another.

Because of the pandemic, the meeting will be held remotely via conference call, according to the agenda. All public comments can be sent prior to the phone conference Board Meeting, via email to [email protected], by 3 pm the day of the meeting; Public comments received via email will be read during the public meeting.

The purchase agreement between Mr. Pandya and the Village of will be on the agenda when the board meets on Tuesday, January 18 as will a Cook County Class 8 incentive for the plaza.

According to a memo prepared by Sandra Zoellner, Assistant Director of Economic Development and Planning, Central Court Plaza, or “Subway Plaza,” as we call it, is a 7,355 square foot commercial property on about .77 acres, with two buildings. There are two occupied storefronts – Subway and Rahima’s Palace (formerly Magic Hands Hair Braiding) – and three vacant storefronts. The past owner had stopped maintaining the property and was four years behind on property taxes. In November 2017, the Village of Park Forest was awarded a tax deed for most of Central Court Plaza. From January 2018 to now, staff listed the property for sale, for $200,000 and posted for sale signs in the windows of the vacant spaces.

Staff responded to more than 115 inquiries, according to Ms. Zoellner.

Four offers to purchase were received. After vetting the offers, staff recommended proceeding with the offer of Park Forest resident, Tushar Pandya.

Staff and the members of the EDAG have first-hand knowledge of Mr. Pandya’s character and business acumen. He is the General Manager of three 7-Eleven stores, including the Park Forest 7-Eleven. He is also an operator partner of a fourth 7-Eleven. Mr. Pandya is a fourteen-year resident of Park Forest.

He is also a familiar and friendly face to the many who shop at the 7-Eleven.

While the property was listed for sale for $200,000. Mr. Pandya offered $25,000. Staff and the EDAG recommend accepting the offer. The property is being sold as-is and is quite the “fixer-upper,” requiring over a quarter-million dollars in repairs.

Mr. Tushar Pandya proposes to establish a General Partnership to own property. He and his partner are able to purchase the property and pay for nearly $300,000 in estimated repairs and deferred maintenance issues without borrowing. He also has professional relationships with two groups who are interested in opening and operating a New Orleans-style eating establishment and a separate smoke shop, according to village officials.

Staff will provide Mr. Pandya with the contact information from the inquiries received over the past 2 years for the third vacant space. Subway has extended its lease for four – 5 year renewals. Magic Hands is month to month, but reliable, according to officials. Given Subway’s longevity in the building, we refer to it here as “Subway plaza.”

Mr. Phil Perkins, Chairman of Park Forest’s Economic Development Advisory Group [EDAG] notes that there are problems with the property:

We recognize there are system-wide flaws that cause properties in the Southland and particularly Park Forest to be undervalued. This undervaluing leads to a high tax rate. The rate scares investors. So, we do our best to find a balance between forgoing some of the future property taxes while not paying out money upfront. This particular property presented additional complications because about 600 square feet of Subway and Rahima’s Palace are erroneously attributed to the property owned by Taco Bell/Sundance Inc. The Village and Mr. Pandya will be working with Sundance to resolve this issue. Sundance has submitted a petition to separate the property from theirs; the Village will obtain the separated property and clear up any back taxes, and then Mr. Pandya will petition to consolidate that parcel with the parcel with Subway and Rahima’s Palace. There are a lot of moving parts that are procedurally complicated, and Mr. Pandya accepts these circumstances.

Memo from Phillip Perkins, Chairman of EDAG, to the Village Board

The edited agenda appears below (edited to save disk space). The full agenda is available here from the VOPF website.

Other items on the Consent Agenda include the following:

  • MOVED, that the Mayor and Board of Trustees approve the minutes of the Rules meeting of December 6, 2021, the Regular meeting of December 13, 2021 and the Saturday Rules meeting of January 8, 2022.
  • MOVED, that the Mayor and Board of Trustees approve a Resolution Supporting a Cook County Class 8 Tax Assessment Classification for 22255 Central Park Avenue in the Village of Park Forest, Cook and Will Counties, Illinois, P.I.N. 31-35-202-016-0000.
  • MOVED, that the Mayor and Board of Trustees approve a Resolution Requesting that the Village of Park Forest be allowed to Participate in Cook County’s No-Cash Bid Program for Tax Delinquent Properties to acquire 10 properties.
  • MOVED, that the Mayor and Board of Trustees approve a Resolution Requesting that the Village of Park Forest be allowed to Participate in Cook Count’s No-Cash Bid Program for Tax Delinquent Properties to acquire 6 properties.
  • MOVED, that the Mayor and Board of Trustees approve a contract with S & S Construction Solutions, Inc, located in Matteson, IL, for the build-out of 299 Main Street, in the amount of $115,973 with a 5% contingency per the Landlord cost for a total of $121,771.65.
  • MOVED, that the Village Manager is authorized to enter into a contract with Custom Manufacturing, located in Clinton, WI, to supply and erect a 20×30 Kayak Shed and ramp at Somonauk Park in the amount of $75,200 with a 10% contingency for a total not to exceed $82,720.
  • MOVED, that the Village Manager is authorized to enter into an Engineering Services Agreement with Baxter and Woodman Consulting Engineers for engineering services for the Water Plant Elevated Tower Replacement project in the amount not to $124,450.

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