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.