Village Scheduled to Act on Incentive Agreement for Orchard Park Plaza

Orchard Plaza

The Village Board will consider an incentive agreement with the owners of Orchard Park Plaza LLC Monday evening. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– The Park Forest Village Board has several items on its agenda for action at Monday’s meeting, including the several appointments of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen for all boards and commissions, a resolution establishing an Intergovernmental Agreement authorizing University Park to use and occupy the driving range and club house at Hidden Meadows Golf Club, and a resolution authorizing the execution of a development and economic incentive agreement between the Village of Park Forest and Orchard Park Plaza, LLC, site of the former Sterk’s Grocery Store.

The list of appointments follows. All terms will expire the last day of the current calendar year:

  • Willie Brooks as Chairperson of the Beautification Awards Committee
  • Rose Turner-Green as Vice-Chairperson of the Beautification Awards Committee
  • Mark Kundla as Chairperson of the Cable Communications Commission
  • Dan Karwatka as Vice-Chairperson of the Cable Communications Commission
  • Alfreda Keller as Chairperson of the Commission on Human Relations
  • Michael Elliott as Vice-Chairperson of the Commission on Human Relations
  • Sam Montella as Chairperson of the Economic Development Advisory Group
  • Kay Meyer as Vice-Chairperson of the Economic Development Advisory Group
  • Dave Bartlett as Chairperson of the Environment Commission
  • James Saxton as Vice-Chairperson of the Environment Commission
  • Glenna Hennessy as Chairperson of the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board
  • Leon Norwood as Vice-Chairperson of the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board
  • Helen Peele as Chairperson of the Senior Citizens Advisory Commission
  • Ed Fizer as Vice-Chairperson of the Senior Citizens Advisory Commission
  • Andrew Klinger as Chairperson of the Youth Commission
  • Dorothy Furnace as Vice-Chairperson of the Youth Commission
  • Nissim I. Eskenazi as Chairperson of the Equal Employment Opportunity Review Board
  • Kim Elmore-Perkins as Vice-Chairperson of the Equal Employment Opportunity Review Board
  • Nissim I. Eskenazi as Chairperson of the Fair Housing Review Board
  • Kim Elmore-Perkins as Vice-Chairperson of the Fair Housing Review Board
  • Nissim I. Eskenazi as Chairperson of the Zoning Board of Appeal
  • Kim Elmore-Perkins as Vice-Chairperson of the Zoning Board of Appeal.

The board will also consider a resolution authorizing the execution of an Intergovernmental Agreement, by and between the Village of University Park and the Village of Park Forest to allow the University Golf Club and Conference Center, owned and operated by the Village of University Park, to use and occupy the driving range and club house at Hidden Meadows Golf Club.

According to Village Manager Tom Mick, Park Forest was approached by the Village of University Park a number of months ago regarding the possibility of Park Forest providing access to the former Hidden Meadows driving range. Park Forest representatives explained they could not provide any such service to University Park as all equipment from the golf course had been liquidated in preparation for the pending redevelopment of this property. After some discussions, University Park proposed an intergovernmental agreement allowing them to the use the former driving range with their supplying of all necessary equipment, staff, etc.

A clause that allows Park Forest, upon notice from the developer of the property, to suspend operations at the driving range to accommodate such development work as engineering analysis, surveying, etc.

University Park will pay the Village $1,000 per month in rent. The term of the agreement is through the end of the current golf season.

The next scheduled item for consideration is a resolution authorizing the execution of a development and economic incentive agreement between the Village of Park Forest and Orchard Park Plaza, LLC. According to Sandra Zoellner, Assistant Director of Economic Development and Planning, Orchard Park Plaza, LLC owns and operates the shopping center located at 80-138 S. Orchard Drive, in Park Forest, the site of the former Sterk’s Grocery Store.

In June 2007, Sterk’s closed most of its locations, including the one at Orchard Park Plaza. With the assistance of Central Grocers, more than 100 grocery store operators were contacted to lease the space. This attempt failed. Further marketing was performed by Matanky Realty and a strong, qualified tenant was found. Orchard Park Plaza, LLC proposes to demise, reconfigure, and partially equip 27,750 square feet of the former Sterk’s Grocery Store (which was 57,000 square feet) for the new grocery tenant at 132 South Orchard Drive.

Orchard Park Plaza, LLC requested sales tax revenue sharing of 75% of all sales taxes generated by all businesses in Orchard Park Plaza for “as long as the grocery store is operating”. Matanky Realty estimated the total amount requested would aggregate to the total amount spent to retenant the former Sterk’s space.

The Economic Development Advisory Group met May 14 to consider this request for an economic incentive. The members voted unanimously to recommend approval of the Village’s support for an economic incentive for Orchard Park Plaza, LLC (OPP LLC) to demise, reconfigure and partially equip 27,750 square feet of retail space at 132 South Orchard Drive, Park Forest with very specific guidelines limiting the incentives:

  1. The Village should provide a financial incentive to OPP LLC.
  2. The Village should frontload the incentive to assist OPP LLC with their financing.
  3. The Village should limit the amount of the incentive to not more than 82.275% of the $800,000 projected build-out expenses or $663,000.
  4. The Village should not provide incentives directly to tenants in any shopping centers. It is the prerogative of the shopping center owner to pass through any incentives.
  5. The Village should establish a clawback clause if the grocery store closes during the term of the agreement.
  6. The Village should provide an incentive for OPP LLC to cause the opening of the Orchard Fresh Market not later than December 1, 2008, in time for the major holidays.

Source: VOPF Agenda

The writer is a Village of Park Forest trustee.