Land off Halsted in Homewood sold to developers, parcel donated to IDOT

  Homewood is selling property adjacent to the 
  office building at 175th and Halsted Streets. 
  A developer is expected to build two 
  restaurants on the site.
(Photo by Eric Crump/
  H-F Chronicle)
 
Two new restaurants may be coming to land near the corner of 175th and Halsted Streets in Homewood.
 
The village is selling land near the intersection to developers and donating space to the Illinois Department of Transportation following action by the Homewood Village Board Sept. 12.
 
GMX Real Estate Group Acquisitions LLC will buy two parcels of land for a total of $30,000. Andrew Goodman and Kevin Mottlowitz of GMX were both at the board meeting. 
 
GMX also developed Potbelly Sandwich Shop at 17573 Halsted St. and Portillo’s Hot Dogs at 17500 Halsted St.
 
“This will be our third project in your great village in the last three years and we’re very appreciative of the opportunity,” Goodman said. “This was a very difficult project to put together.”
 
GMX plans to put two fast food restaurants on the land, which will share a parking lot.  Goodman said he couldn’t yet divulge which restaurants those would be because they’re not yet officially in leases. He said he hopes to have them open by the end of 2018. 
 
“We have deals with two national restaurant chains,” Goodman said. “Without the public-private partnership, this opportunity wouldn’t avail itself.”
 
Weglarz Hop/LLC will purchase another piece of property in that area for $40,000. There are no current plans to develop that land, Village Attorney Chris Cummings said. Weglarz Hop has shown interest in developing a casino in the past, should state regulations be modified to allow for land-based gaming in the future. 

Trustees also approved the renewal of an intergovernmental agreement with East Hazel Crest to work together to promote the development of a casino on land south of Interstate 80/294 and north of the property sold to GMX and Weglarz. The villages entered into the agreement in 2012 and have renewed it several times since.
 
Cummings said the three parcels were purchased by Homewood in 2012 for about $30,000. The village published a notice that the land was for sale but received no other bids.
 
“The village owns those properties, so they’re currently exempt from property taxes,” Cummings said. “Over the years, the village has worked very hard to try to develop those properties at the same time that it could also develop that office building on the corner, which the village does not own.”

The office building has one remaining tenant. GMX will also purchase that building. Cummings said GMX will pay “well over $1 million” for the structure and land.
 
As part of the agreement, Homewood will reimburse GMX up to $420,000 of the cost of purchasing the property. That reimbursement will be funded by the village’s 2 percent “places for eating” tax on restaurants. Cummings said this proposal is 100 percent performance based, so the developer won’t get any money until the restaurants are in business. Homewood will also waive GMX’s permit fees.
 
Homewood will also give 25 feet of land to the Illinois Department of Transportation for the widening of Halsted Street at 174th Street for a new traffic light. The village signed an agreement with East Hazel Crest in June to construct and maintain a stop light at that intersection. The 25-foot strip will allow for a deceleration lane.

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