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Cicero one step closer to Wal-Mart agreement

Published: Saturday, June 15, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, June 16, 2013 7:41 a.m. CDT

CICERO – Cicero officials have taken the next, and one of the final steps, in bringing a Walmart store to the community.

The Town Board unanimously authorized President Larry Dominick to enter into a real estate business trust agreement with Wal-Mart on behalf of the town of Cicero when it met June 11.

Th action is basically an easement agreement between the town and Wal-Mart to purchase town property at the former Sportsman's Park racetrack near the 3400 block of South Cicero Avenue, and build a 190,000 square-foot Walmart supercenter on 24.6 acres on the site.

The cost of the site was $7.5 million, town spokesman Ray Hanania said.

The western half of the former Sportsman's Park property is home to Wirtz Beverage Group, a national distributor of wine, beer and spirits.

Wal-Mart was expected to close on the property June 11. The city is expected to formally hand over title to the property on June 18.

Wal-Mart plans to build two outlets on the property for smaller retail businesses, primarily restaurants.

Wal-Mart also owns Sam's Club in Cicero, which is ranked the number one performer of all Sam's Club operations in the U.S., Hanania said.

"That's a strong indicator the Walmart [location in Cicero] is going to do very well in Cicero," Hanania said. "We believe it's going to create hundreds of [job] opportunities and bring consumers into Cicero."

He added the presence of Wal-Mart will benefit the business community as a whole through the customers it draws into the area.

Construction is expected to begin next month, with the store opening in 2014.

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