Palatine Village Council voted unanimously on Monday (June 21) to approve a package of ordinances that will allow Weck Auto Group (WAG) to relocate its Volkswagen dealership from Mount Prospect to Palatine, and get some village funding and Cook County tax incentives to help the process along.
WAG is planning to move the dealership to 1979 N. Rand Rd., the northernmost lot of the five lots that make up the Napleton Subdivision. The subdivision is already home to Napleton’s Palatine Mazda and Subaru dealerships. Village Manager Reid Ottesen told the council that a third dealership was planned since the subdivision was created.
During Monday’s meeting, the council approved an amendment to the subdivision’s Planned Development zoning to allow a third dealership. It also approved an agreement that would provide WAG up to $1 million from the Rand Road Corridor Tax Increment Financing district to help cover construction costs. Finally, the council voted to support WAG’s application for the Cook County’s Class 7(c) property tax classification incentive, which, if approved, would temporarily lower its property tax rate.
Napleton Subdivision was redeveloped on the land formerly used by Menards and Knuppers Landscaping and Supply store. Knuppers continues to sell plants seasonally on the land WAG is looking to buy.
During the June 15 meeting of the Palatine Plan Commission, WAG President Charles “Chuck” Weck said that he wanted to move the dealership because the Napleton Subdivision was a more viable location, and there was more land to build a more “state of the art” facility.
According to the business plan submitted to the village, Weck purchased the Mount Prospect dealership from Steve Napleton, owner of Napleton Automotive Group, which owns the existing dealerships in the subdivision. He told the village council that he worked for Napleton in the past.
Once relocated, WAG hopes to sell around 600 Volkswagens a year. The dealership would be open at 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays.
According to staff reports to the council, WAG indicated that it cannot complete the project without TIF funding and county incentives.
Under the redevelopment agreement, the village will pay $150,000 once the Knuppers structures are demolished, then another $200,000 “upon completion of the exterior shell and core of the automobile dealership,” then $250,000 once the dealership is fully up and running. Once that happens, WAG will be able to get up to 75% of its annual sales tax payments back until it gets $400,000 back.
In return, WAG agrees to complete the project by Dec. 31, 2022 and keep the dealership for at least 20 years, or until Palatine gets back the $1 million through property taxes. It won’t be penalized for closing the dealership before that if it can replace the dealership “with an automobile dealership of substantially equivalent economic stability and sales tax generation.”
Normally, commercial properties in Cook County are assessed at 25% of their market value. The Class 7(c) designation lowers the rate to 10% for three years and raises it by 5% each of the following years until it returns to the regular rate. As noted in the staff report, Palatine supported the designation for the other two dealerships.
Ottesen said that, in the end, the Volkswagen dealership would be a good addition to Palatine.
“We’re pleased to add another high-quality, new dealership for the Rand Road corridor,” he said.
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