In a bid to retain an important Grayslake business, the village board this week approved a plan to give $1 million to FLAG Chevrolet.
The money is to be used toward a major renovation at the dealership at 1000 E. Belvidere Road that is estimated to cost around $14.9 million.
Mayor Rhett Taylor said the arrangement will keep one of Grayslake’s oldest businesses in the village.
“This will help them update the store to meet with GM standards and make the case to GM they should stay there and not have to move,” Taylor said. He noted car dealerships cluster often together to retain business but FLAG Chevrolet is by itself.
Under the plan, the village money will be granted to the dealership only if it begins work on the renovation in the next year and if the work is completed in the next two years. FLAG also has to spend $4.2 million in ads during the next three years and never have fewer than 75 full-time employees. And if the dealership moves away, a portion of the incentive money will return to the village.
There has been a dealership on that site since the mid-1990s when Rockenbach Chevrolet, which had operated elsewhere in Grayslake since the 1920s, moved there and became one of the largest dealers in the region, according to Village Manager Mike Ellis. The company’s sales tax revenues to the village peaked at around $1 million annually before beginning to decline.
Around five or six years ago, Rockenbach Chevrolet was purchased by Rock Chevrolet, Ellis said. Rock Chevrolet averaged around $200,000 in annual sales tax revenues, Taylor said.
FLAG Chevrolet bought the dealership about a month or two ago. Ellis said the new owners are eager to invest and revitalize the space.
Representatives from FLAG did not return a call for comment for this story.
“Hopefully, the investment will be good for business and will drive the sales tax revenues up,” Taylor said.
Grayslake has entered in several incentive programs in recent years.
Earlier this year, the village board agreed to pay $150,000 to Light The Lamp Brewery to go toward preparing its new location in a 101-year-old building at 2 S. Lake St.
In 2016, the board approved an economic incentive package potentially worth $750,000 to Butera Market to open in the vacant space in the shopping center on the southeast corner of Atkinson Road and Center Street.
In 2015, the board gave $200,000 to 129 Center Cut restaurant to open in downtown Grayslake.
Published at Fri, 08 Jun 2018 21:37:24 +0000