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Batavia Enterprises receptive to Walgreens financial proposal

Published: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

BATAVIA – Officials for Batavia Enterprises on Wednesday said they plan to move ahead with a City Council proposal to give the company $1.14 million in financial assistance to help in the construction of a new Walgreens store in downtown Batavia.

“There are details that have to be worked out, but we are planning on moving forward,” Batavia Enterprises Vice President Austin Dempsey said. “Our entire approach from the beginning was to deliver to Batavia a new building and a new store that everybody could be proud of.”

Aldermen at Tuesday’s Joint Committee of the Whole meeting recommended giving Batavia Enterprises $850,000 along with rebating up to $293,000 of incremental sales tax from the new store. The recommendation will go to the full City Council.

Second Ward Alderman Alan Wolff and 5th Ward Alderman Lucy Thelin Atac voted against the proposal, and 5th Ward Alderman Steve Vasilion, who is an architect, recused himself from the discussion because Batavia Enterprises is one of his clients.

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.

The new store is expected to generate $1.4 million in additional sales tax and property taxes over the next 12 years. Batavia Enterprises had been seeking $1.5 million in financial assistance.

Total project costs for the new Walgreens store are estimated to reach about $6 million, which includes a 10 percent contingency of $520,250. Because the property has poor soil, the new building would have to be built on concrete caissons or piers, which is estimated to cost $275,000.

In addition, a large storm drain line 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 the line needs to be moved at a cost of $300,000.

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.

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