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Government

Elmhurst committee advances BMW redevelopment plan

Mike Kopp, assistant city manager of Elmhurst, debriefs aldermen Noel Talluto and Michael Honquest at the Oct. 23 Development, Planning and Zoning Committee meeting.
Mike Kopp, assistant city manager of Elmhurst, debriefs aldermen Noel Talluto and Michael Honquest at the Oct. 23 Development, Planning and Zoning Committee meeting.

ELMHURST – Aldermen Michael Honquest and Noel Talluto advanced a redevelopment agreement Oct. 23 to the Elmhurst City Council in favor of reimbursing BMW dealership Elmhurst Auto Group for TIF-eligible project costs up to $6 million so it can remain in Elmhurst.

According to the proposed agreement, BMW of North America has informed Elmhurst Auto Group the size of the existing dealership is inadequate to meet franchise standards, and without a significant expansion, the group's franchise will not be renewed.

Elmhurst Auto Group would redevelop the property with an about 51,145-square-foot automobile sales and repair facility and related site improvements, according to the proposed agreement. The dealership would be responsible for the project cost, subject to reimbursement by the TIF incentives.

Assistant City Manager Mike Kopp said during theOct. 23 Development, Planning and Zoning Committee meeting that the dealership should be assisted in its efforts to stay in Elmhurst.

Elmhurst Auto Group has been in Elmhurst since 1961 and has contributed to the community by being involved with the Turkey Trot, buying BMW bikes for the Elmhurst Police Department and supporting veterans, Kopp said. He said the dealership is one of the highest sales tax-producing businesses in Elmhurst.

"The loss of BMW would affect the ability to attract other larger motor dealerships or possibly have a snowball effect, where other dealerships, because we're losing dealerships, don't come here and go to where other dealerships are, which, everybody knows, car dealers like to hang out together," Kopp said.

The $6 million includes TIF-eligible project costs related to land acquisition, environmental testing and remeditation, demolition and more.

"I'm overall in support of this," Talluto said. "I think it's a great thing."

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