Local

Construction timeframe for new Huntley Jewel pushed back 1 year

Spokesman cites reduction in capital for new stores

The new Jewel store's site plan includes a drive-thru pharmacy, outdoor seating area and outdoor seasonal sales area.
The new Jewel store's site plan includes a drive-thru pharmacy, outdoor seating area and outdoor seasonal sales area.

Huntley residents may have to wait a year longer than they originally thought to shop at a new Jewel-Osco location on the northeast corner of Route 47 and Reed Road.

In February, the Village Board approved a business development agreement with Jewel Food Stores for the construction of the new store, which was set to open by the end of 2019 at the cost of about $11.5 million, village documents show.

But after being advised of funding problems for new Jewel developments, the board unanimously approved an amendment to the agreement that would give the grocery chain until Dec. 31, 2020 to finish the building.

Dave Hene, senior real estate manager for Jewel-Osco, said during Thursday’s board meeting that there have been a lot of changes in the retail and grocery industries over the past few months which have required priorities to shift.

“What we were faced with was basically a scaling back of the capital available to build new stores,” Hene said.

However, planned renovations to the Jewel location at 13200 Village Green Drive, which also were included in the agreement at a cost of about $1 million, still are expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2019. All of the other terms of the business development agreement would be the same, including a provision that if the new store’s completion or the Village Green Drive store’s renovations weren’t finished by their target dates, the agreement could be terminated.

Although Hene said retailers such as Sears, which recently announced 46 store closures, have been under a tremendous amount of pressure, Jewel still is faring well.

“We all live in the same world, but I’m fortunate enough to work for a company that is still aggressive, is still growing and is going to be here for a very long time,” Hene said.

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