Grocer Signs Lease at Town & Country, But Amazon Fresh Not Officially Confirmed at Shopping Center at Arlington Heights Rd and Palatine Rd

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Amazon Fresh store opening soon in Schaumburg at 16 East Golf Road while operating as a "Dark Store" distributing grocery deliveries on December 10, 2020
Amazon Fresh store opening soon in Schaumburg at 16 East Golf Road while operating as a "Dark Store" distributing grocery deliveries on December 10, 2020

Arlington Heights village board members agreed Monday, December 21, 2020 to apply almost $1.4 million in tax increment financing (TIF) dollars to Town & Country shopping center owner Visconsi Companies. The commercial real estate company has promised to bring a new fast food restaurant (Raising Cane’s) and an unnamed grocery store to the large shopping center at the southeast corner of Arlington Heights Road and Rand Road where a Best Buy and Joann Fabrics and Crafts store are located.

Visconsi, with headquarters in Pepper Pike, Ohio near Cleveland, declined to reveal the name of the upcoming grocery store because the grocery company that signed the lease for the 50,000-square-foot vacant Dominick’s site included terms of a nondisclosure agreement. A source has told Cardinal News that the new grocery store will be an Amazon Fresh store.

Just last year the plans for a new Schaumburg Amazon Fresh store at 16 East Golf Road at the northeast corner of Golf Road and Roselle Road were kept a secret until the end of May 2020. In late 2020 the Amazon Fresh store in Schaumburg has been operating as a “Dark Store” which means the windows are frosted while the grocery store initially operates as a shipping and delivery facility — not open for in-person shopping. The Schaumburg Amazon Fresh is scheduled to open for in-person shopping in January 2021.

Amazon also kept plans secret when a warehouse was planned construction at the property where the vacant H.B. Fuller adhesives was located at the southeast corner of Hicks Road and Northwest Highway. Amazon (DLN8) now operates at 315 South Hicks Road in Palatine just south of Northwest Highway near Rolling Meadows.

The Arlington Heights Village Board (eight trustees and the mayor) unanimously approved a 22-page redevelopment agreement with Visconsi Companies., which requested the public funds to revive the brick-and-mortar retail site that’s struggled with vacancies and lower rents in recent years, especially challenged by the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The former Dominick’s and Joe Caputo & Sons site has been vacant since 2015. After Dominick’s the Joe Caputo & Sons store occupied the space less than two years. A large Ashley furniture store also left the shopping center in 2015. The Arlington Heights LA Fitness opened in December 2016 in the former Ashley Furniture space.

Officials from Arlington Heights and Visconsi Companies. agreed Monday night that shopping centers with grocery anchors tend to perform better than shopping centers without grocers because of the essential daily customer visits associated with grocery stores.

“I think it’s a benefit to the community. It’s a benefit to the shopping center. We’re bringing in a new retailer that’s not in the area. It benefits the community by adding competition in the grocery sector. It keeps the center viable. I think that’s a very important addition to the shopping center.”

— Dominic Visconsi Jr., co-CEO

The Village of Arlington Heights will provide $1,399,000 to partially reimburse the shopping center operator’s $2.4 million renovation costs. That includes upgrades to the building in preparation for the new grocer, and site improvements for the new 3,736-square-foot outlot restaurant and drive-through near Palatine Road. Raising Cane’s is a quick-service chain featuring chicken fingers and crinkle-cut fries. Amazon and Raising Cane’s will fund the remaining $12.1 million in project costs.

Amazon Fresh store opening soon in Schaumburg at 16 East Golf Road while operating as a "Dark Store " on Thursday, December 10, 2020
Amazon Fresh store opening soon in Schaumburg at 16 East Golf Road while operating as a “Dark Store” distributing grocery deliveries on Thursday, December 10, 2020.

Renovations at the grocery store space include a roof repair and replacement that is ongoing or near completion, interior demolition, facade work, asbestos and environmental abatement, and interior buildout. For the Raising Cane’s outlot establishment, work crews will extend utilities to the new restaurant and improve access to the site. Some of that utility work has already begun.

Construction on the grocery store and restaurant is set to begin by October 2021, with openings by June 2022, the agreement says. While the grocer has not been confirmed as an Amazon Fresh store, the possibility has definitely created interest and excitement.

The TIF district that includes the Town & Country shopping center was established in 2005.

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