Orland Park officials earlier this month approved a tax-sharing plan with Mercedes-Benz of Orland Park to help offset the cost of expanding the dealership into the neighboring former BMW dealership that moved into its new home at 159th Street and Wolf Road over the summer.
The deal will give the village the first $264,532 in sales taxes generated by the dealership each year for the next five years. The village and dealership will split any additional sales taxes above that amount for five years or until the dealership has collected $453,690.
The Mercedes dealership wants the additional space for a showroom for two new lines it will begin carrying: the Smart car and a Mercedes commercial van. The dealership says the expansion will create about 16 new jobs with an annual payroll of about $700,000.
The deal has a couple of conditions: Mercedes must occupy the space by April and all of the public monies must be returned if the dealership closes before the agreement expires.
The Mercedes dealership opened in the 1990s and has the same Pennsylvania-based owner as the BMW dealership that relocated.
New liquor licenses OK’d
Earlier this month, Orland trustees approved two new liquor licenses. Blissful Banana Café at 15447 S. 94th Avenue was granted a Class A license to allow a full bar, while Round the Clock at 16310 S. LaGrange Road was granted a Class C license to allow the sale of beer and wine.
Kmart to close on 159th Street
The Kmart store at 159th Street and Bell Road in Homer Glen will close by the end of January and has started a store closing sale.
The store, which opened in 1981, was converted from a Kmart to a Sears Essential store after the merger of Kmart and Sears in 2005, but the concept never really caught on and the store was reconverted back to a Kmart about 18 months ago.
The store has 82 employees, some of whom may be able to transfer to other Sears or Kmart locations.
Hostess outlet stores close
Even in the likely event that someone comes along and buys the rights and recipes to keep making and selling Hostess Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Cupcakes, gone forever will be the Hostess outlet stores, which used to be paradise for bargain hunters looking to stock up on discounted Wonder bread, fruit pies and boxes of Ding-Dongs.
Employees at Hostess outlet stores in Richton Park and Burbank both said that while the cake line was likely to be acquired as soon as the bankruptcy judge gives the OK this week, their stores would be closed for good by Tuesday at the latest.
“We’re history,” said an employee at the store in Richton Park. “The cake line will be bought up by someone and they’ll still be sold in stores. But we’re done. First it was Sara Lee and now us.”
An employee at the store in Burbank echoed those comments.
“We’re not going to reopen,” she said.
Black Friday Midnight Hours
Orland Square Mall will be open starting at midnight on Black Friday, Nov. 23, and some of its anchor stores may open as early as 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night.
Several national retailers including Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, Sears, Kmart, Kohl’s and Old Navy have said at least some of their stores will open as early as 8 p.m. Thursday night.
Tinley residents win round in gas station fight
Tinley residents who live near 194th Street and Harlem Avenue are fighting a proposed gas station for the property and won an early round victory when one Will County Board committee voted against the plan and a second committee called off a vote on the proposal.
Residents, who have gathered hundreds of signatures on petitions opposing the station, still have a fight ahead of them. The site is already zoned for a gas station and the Will County Board could approve the plan even without endorsements from the two committees: Land Use and Planning and Zoning.
The fight is centered on plans by land owner Leonard McEnery, of Orland Park, to include a car wash and convenience store with a liquor license. McEnery already operates Gas N Wash, a similar kind of station/store/car wash a few miles away at 191st Street and 88th Avenue in Mokena.
The same neighbors blocked plans a few years ago for a Walmart proposed for 191st Street and Harlem Avenue. The difference this time is the land is already zoned for a gas station and, most importantly, is not within Tinley boundaries. Tinley officials acquiesced to residents over the Walmart plan but they have no say in the gas station development.
Local Will County Board member Jim Moustis is trying to work out a compromise between the most vocal critics and McEnery.
Last call for Charter Fitness food drive
Orland Park-based Charter Fitness is holding its sixth annual Thanksgiving Food Drive through today.
Non-perishable food items may be dropped off at any participating Charter Fitness location and will benefit people in need in each of the communities served by the clubs. The food will be distributed through local charities such as The Greater Chicago Food Depository, The Salvation Army and a variety of local churches.
Visit Charter Fitness for a list of donation locations.
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