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Auction for former Dominick's site in Lake in the Hills set for February

Plans for Aldi to take over space uncertain, economic development director says

An auction for a Lake in the Hills shopping center that includes the former Dominick’s store is set from Feb. 26 to 28.
An auction for a Lake in the Hills shopping center that includes the former Dominick’s store is set from Feb. 26 to 28.

LAKE IN THE HILLS – An auction for a Lake in the Hills shopping center that includes the former Dominick’s store has been set for late February – and the village’s economic development director said it’s not official that Aldi will be moving into the site.

The auction will be from Feb. 26 to 28 on Ten-X Commercial, an online real estate search and transaction website. The starting bid begins at $1.2 million, and a $10,000 participation deposit is required.

About 17 percent of the 99,451-square-foot space is leased, according to Ten-X, with four total buildings.

The auction, originally planned for last summer, was postponed for the strip center at Randall and Algonquin roads.

Economic development coordinator George Hahne said the holiday season pushed back the auction because Transwestern, the real estate firm for the property, said it needed more time to do its due diligence – to create reports on the building quality, conduct road studies and more.

Hahne said he was unsure of Aldi’s intent to move into 22,000 square feet of the vacant Dominick’s site – he thinks Aldi wants to see who the owner of the store will be before committing to a lease.

Hahne said in June that Aldi signed a letter of intent to occupy the space, but on Wednesday, Hahne said he found out later that Aldi did not sign.

“My understanding is they want to deal with the new owners of the shopping center, but that’s only speculation,” Village President Russ Ruzanski said.

Trustee David McPhee said there has been vague talk of Aldi bringing in a new prototype store.

“But with another facility down the street [on Randall Road], they were combating themselves and questioning if that was the appropriate location,” McPhee said.

The main building contains a 72,385-square-foot building that formerly was leased to Dominick’s, as well as
10,346 square feet of small shopping stores attached, including GNC, H&R Block, Miracle Ear and four vacant suites.

Another building north on Randall Road contains 16,720 square feet of space. Its tenants include Einstein Bros. Bagels, Yumz Gourmet Frozen Yogurt, Jersey Mike’s Subs and two vacant suites.

“With the right owner and right tenants over there, we could bring in a lot of sales tax and do very good things for the village itself, like being able to continue and maintain not increasing property taxes,” McPhee said.

Farm, ranch and home retail chain Big R had planned to move into the Dominick’s space but backed out in August 2016.

Dominick’s closed in December 2013, and the grocer continued paying rent until its lease expired in May 2017.

Interested buyers will be able to tour the site from noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 7 and 14.

“When we cross that bridge and get a tenant or a sale, we hope it’ll turn into a great piece of parcel,” McPhee said. “Until then, I’m trying not to get our hopes up because we don’t want to be disappointed.”

A representative from Transwestern could not be reached for information Wednesday. Attempts to reach Aldi also were unsuccessful.

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