BATAVIA – City and Batavia Enterprises officials believe that progress is being made in moving the Walgreens project forward following a meeting last week between city and company officials.
“We were able to come to common ground,” Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke said. “I remain optimistic we can meet the Dec. 1 deadline.”
Batavia Enterprises wants to move Walgreens from its current location at 138 W. Wilson St. in the Batavia Plaza into a 14,500-square-foot building with a drive-thru just east of East China Inn in the same shopping center.
Batavia Enterprises owns Batavia Plaza.
Batavia Enterprises Vice President Austin Dempsey said the Batavia City Council would have to approve the project by December.
He said construction of the new store must begin by March to deliver the building to Walgreens corporate leaders by the end of September 2014.
Dempsey also was optimistic that the project, which has been in the planning stages since 2010, is moving forward.
“All parties agreed this should not be delayed any more,” Dempsey said. “We are ready to move forward to the next level.”
The plans are set to go before the Batavia Plan Commission on Sept. 18 for design review.
The project is in a tax increment financing district. Once a municipality creates a TIF, its property assessment is frozen and new or increased taxes generated by improvements are used to pay for improvements or other development incentives.
Dempsey said the TIF funding is needed because of problems with the site.
Because the property has poor soil, the new building would have to be built on concrete caissons or piers, which could cost $275,000, Dempsey said.
In addition, a large storm drain line that runs through the city-owned portion of the property.
The line acts as an overflow route from the southern tip of Depot Pond to a point in the Fox River just north of the city of Batavia’s Emergency Services and Disaster Agency garage.
Dempsey said if the line has to be moved, it would cost about $250,000.
He estimated the overall project cost at between $5.5 million and $6 million, including $3 million to build the store.
“We are not asking for anything more than the project generates,” he said.
The city’s TIF consultant still is determining the amount of revenues the project will generate, Dempsey said. Batavia Enterprises believes it is eligible for up to $2 million in TIF funds, he said.