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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • Beck's building Save-A-Lot in Geneseo

  • Save-A-Lot grocery store will open in Geneseo. Construction on the new store is slated to start in the spring of 2014.
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  • Save-A-Lot grocery store will open in Geneseo. Construction on the new store is slated to start in the spring of 2014.
    Officials with Beck Oil Co., who currently own and operate a Beck's Convenience Store on Oakwood Avenue near Interstate 80, plan to build a Save-A-Lot north of their convenience store.
    The new grocery store will be built on the former Deck Hotel property, land that was purchased by Beck Oil Co. in 2011. The rear portion of the lot will remain a parking lot for semi-truck customers.
    Geneseo currently has one grocery store — Fareway. Previous stores, Country Market and Aldi, closed in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
    "Since we lost Aldi, securing a second grocery store has been a priority," said Geneseo mayor Linda Van Der Leest. "This is a big undertaking (for Beck Oil Co.), and we think it will be a good addition to the City
    of Geneseo."
    Bill Smith of Beck Oil Co. said the store will be 15,000-square feet with a parking lot designed to hold approximately 75 vehicles.
    In addition to building a Save-A-Lot in Geneseo, Beck Oil Co. officials plan to build Save-A-Lot stores in Princeton and Mendota.
    "The one in Geneseo will be our first, though," said Smith. The company has a Beck's Convenience Store in each community and plans to offer fuel/grocery deals, he said.
    In addition to building the store in Geneseo, Beck's officials will pave parking areas at the former Deck property to meet dust-free surface requirements stipulated by the city.
    The Geneseo Save-A-Lot will have "a deli and bakery of some kind" said Smith. "We also feel our fresh-cut meat and our produce will be a big draw."
    Save-A-Lot is the second largest grocery chain in the United States behind Walmart, and Smith said he and Beck Oil Co. officials were "very impressed with the Save-A-Lot model."
    Smith described Save-A-Lot as a "hard-discount grocery store."
    "It's very similar to Aldi," he said. "There will be national brands as well as Save-A-Lot brands offered."
    He said the store would be open "seven days a week and on holidays."
    "We've heard Sundays might be good days to be open," he joked during a press conference on Sept. 10 announcing the store.
    As part of the agreement to bring Save-A-Lot to Geneseo, city officials have offered an economic package to Beck Oil Co. officials. Economic packages also were offered in the past to Fareway, Country Market and Aldi.
    Because the proposed Save-A-Lot site is located in a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) District which was created in 2006, the development will qualify for TIF-eligible expenses.
    Page 2 of 2 - Jim Hughes, Geneseo's city consultant noted that, due to the limitation on the duration of the TIF district, Beck's will not receive reimbursement for all of its TIF-eligible expenses.
    As a result, the city will receive 15 percent and Beck's 85 percent of available tax increment funds generated by the project for reimbursement of eligible TIF expenditures, said Hughes.
    The building is expected to have a fair-market value of $2 million and an estimated property tax bill of $50,700.
    "The developer would be reimbursed 85 percent of this amount, $43,000, and the city would retain in the TIF 15 percent, $7,600," said Hughes. "If there is no other development on the property, it is estimated the developer would receive an estimated TIF reimbursement of $719,000 and the city would receive $127,000 over the remaining years of the TIF."
    The development agreement between Beck Oil Co. and the city also includes the city rebating Beck's for the construction of a 185,000 square-foot dust-free parking lot. The rebate program is on a percentage reducing scale over nine years, said Hughes.
    A utility usage rebate is included in the development agreement.
    On an annual basis, the city officials will rebate a percentage of the cost of utilities to Save-A-Lot, including water, sewer and electric.
    While 90 percent of the utility cost will be rebated in the first year, that percentage decreases to 10 percent in the sixth and final year of the agreement.
    "The city has rebated utility costs for some developments in the past. Based on what is estimated for the grocery store, the city would rebate $109,500 to the developer, but the city also would receive more than $284,000 in new utility revenues in the six-year abatement," explained Hughes.
    Having a second grocery store in town should also help the city's sales tax numbers.
    During the second quarter of 2012 (at a point when Aldi was still in Geneseo), the city received $52,785 in sales tax generated by grocery sales. During the same quarter in 2013 the city received $44,511.
    "There were a lot of people who did not keep their grocery purchases in town. We are hoping to reverse that trend," said Hughes.
    He said the development agreement with Beck Oil Co. was "a good thing for Beck's and a good thing for the City of Geneseo."
    "It's a win-win, because we're not getting any (revenue) from the property now," he said.
    Informal discussions between Geneseo and Illinois Department of Transportation officials have indicated a traffic light will be needed on Oakwood Avenue-Highway 82 near the entrance to Beck's property.
    Hughes said funds the city receives from the development will be used to pay for the traffic
    light.
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