Arlington Heights awards $1.3 million in tax funds to bring At Home furniture store to Rand Road

Arlington Heights is awarding $1.3 million in tax increase funding district funds to bring a big-box furniture and home decor store to town, as part of recent efforts to revitalize an aging mall along of the Rand Road corridor.

The funds would go towards $6.7 million in upgrades planned by a commercial real estate investment firm to re-let a vacant 100,000 square foot space in the Southpoint Mall, which village officials say is struggling with chronic vacancies since the 2008 recession.

Tampa, Florida-based RPS Capital recently purchased the anchor tenant’s space at 750 E. Rand Road and signed a letter of intent for a 10-year lease with At Home, a retail chain of interior decorator based in Plano, TX.

RPS plans to repair the facade of the building, replace its roof, redo the parking lot and remove asbestos, among other site improvements.

The village’s contribution includes $627,000 for the roof, $473,000 for parking, $115,000 for asbestos removal and $85,000 for architectural and engineering services, under the terms of an approved redevelopment agreement unanimously this week by the village council.

The money comes from the village’s Fifth District TIF Fund, which has a balance of nearly $4 million that has grown steadily since its inception in 2005. That’s when taxes land paid to local governments was frozen and anything collected above that level was diverted. into the special village fund for economic development purposes.

In late 2020, the village donated $1.4 million of that fund to the owner of the nearby Town & Country mall, where a Raising Cane fast food restaurant opened and a long-talked about Amazon Fresh grocery store is slated to open. this autumn.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

RPS asked for more than $1.3 million, but in the end, the village and its consultant, SB Friedman Development Advisors, felt that the amount negotiated was justified, hoping to generate sufficient minimum returns at the market rate. .

“This proposal would generate significant sales tax revenue for the community,” said Charles Witherington-Perkins, director of planning and community development for the village. “It would be a significant investment in the Southpoint Mall. It would serve as a springboard for the rest of the mall and also help solidify this area in Arlington Heights.

“There are very few viable retailers in the market of this size that would take this space, so we were very happy and excited when RPS Capital approached us.”

Bif Furniture, the last company to occupy the space three years ago, has been one of the tenants over the past 15 years to generate only “marginal” sales tax revenue for the village, Perkins said , who thinks At Home is a different furniture store. concept that will be more successful in town.

In late 2019, a proposal to demolish the building and build a VASA Fitness gym was withdrawn; Perkins said it would not have generated sales tax revenue. RPS also proposed an antique shopping center for the site.

The village’s agreement with the developer calls for construction to start in June and finish in November, although they have until the end of 2023 to receive TIF funds. The deal also allows less than $1.3 million to be awarded if developer costs are lower or store operating revenue exceeds expectations.

In February, the village council approved plans for a new Chipotle and another yet-to-be-named restaurant in Southpoint outlots, as well as a consumer credit union.

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