Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau hopes that sales tax incentives will lure a few more businesses to fill some large, vacant storefronts. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau hopes that sales tax incentives will lure a few more businesses to fill some large, vacant storefronts. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park giving incentives to fill big, empty spaces

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By Jeff Vorva

Orland Park officials are looking to fill a few large vacant storefronts in the village and that’s not going to be easy.

“It’s hard to fill because we have just about every large retailer here,” Mayor Keith Pekau said at the Aug. 1 village board meeting. “We have a few vacancies right now.”

So, the board approved a Strategic Retail Backfill Incentive Program to encourage retailers to back-fill vacant spaces of greater than 25,000 square feet.

A successful applicant will receive a share of the sales tax derived from that businesses’ property.

“This is a tool that will help entice companies to come here,” Pekau said. “We won’t have to have long negotiations because we will have this in place.

“It’s a performance-based incentive, so we are sharing the sales taxes that they generate. Nothing from nothing is nothing so if they actually fill something, we will be getting some of it back.”

No thanks

The board rejected a Request for Proposals from builders Flaherty and Collins for more plans for the Main Street Triangle.

Flaherty and Collins built the Ninety7Fifty on the Park apartment complex.

Pekau said that past boards dropped the ball on this project and the current board is trying to build around some of the mistakes he believes past administrations made with its association with Flaherty and Collins.

“We’re not going to spend any time looking at this and diving into something or negotiating or interviewing for something that is so blatantly not what we’ve requested,” Pekau said.

“We are landlocked, and we have nine acres left and we’re trying to work around things. And they came back again and must have assumed this board would be duped like the last board was.”

The mayor took the previous boards to task for allowing Tax Increment Financing for the project in 2004 but wasting seven years trying to get rid of the businesses in the TIF district. He also blasted past boards for a “bad plan” with taxpayers paying the price.

“The taxpayers paid $64 million,” he said. “That was desperation, and it was desperation because of poor planning. It was an embarrassment that we had nothing and now we have a massive apartment complex on 143rd Street, which was against everything in the plan. The plan said nothing more than two stories at 143rd and LaGrange. Now it throws everything out of whack.”

 

1 Comment

  1. Richie Bitchie on August 18, 2022 at 12:16 am

    Malls will be obsolete in two years



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