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LITH hoping for gas stations, car dealers on Route 31

Published: Thursday, May 2, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, May 2, 2013 8:32 a.m. CDT

LAKE IN THE HILLS – Village officials are hoping for more car dealerships and gas stations along Route 31, as they have made adjustments to the town’s comprehensive plan.

The comprehensive plan now calls for retail commercial development in the airport area, along with office and warehouse distribution businesses.

The plan also now encourages the development of auto dealerships and gas stations along Route 31 because of the recent change to more commercial retail in the corridor.

The village has updated its comprehensive plan “so that future land-use designations correspond with updated market conditions and strengthen our economic development directives to strategically position the village ... to capture commercial investment,” Economic Development Coordinator Gino DeVivo wrote in a memo to the Village Board.

Dan Olson, the community development director for the village, said market studies have indicated there is a need for gas stations and car dealerships along Route 31.

“There’s a gap or need in those areas,” Olson said. “They [also] generate a lot of sales tax.”

In recent years, the village has approved an asphalt shingle recycling facility to be built along Route 31; a 110-space parking lot on Route 31 and Virginia Road has been planned; and commercial uses were added to the east side of Route 31, including the Super Walmart and Toyota dealership in Crystal Lake.

“Route 31 is a corridor where we see future commercial development,” Olson said.

Village officials are planning to have a showcase event to promote the town’s commercial investment opportunities, with a focus on Route 31 and the area around the airport.

The event will be in June, and invited guests will include developers, investors, commercial brokers and auto dealership owners throughout the Chicago area.

In recent months, DeVivo attended trade shows to market the village and make contacts with developers.

Olson said DeVivo has been making contacts to advise potential developers or investors about available properties and the village’s incentive programs.

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