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McHenry City Council to consider $1 million incentive agreement for Thortons development

Developer plans Thorntons truck stop, retail center

Rendering of the proposed Thortons for McHenry
Rendering of the proposed Thortons for McHenry

McHenry City Council on Monday will revisit a $1 million incentive agreement for a development that will include a retail complex and Thortons truck stop with video gaming.

Bluestone Single Tenant Properties, LLC plans to construct the $15 million development on the northwest corner of Chapel Hill Road and Route 120. City council originally approved the plan and incentive deal in 2016 but the agreement expired.

The original agreement offset the development cost with a 20-year incentive agreement that would rebate sales taxes up to $1 million. City council will consider the same agreement Monday.

Rick Heidner is the developer, according to city documents. He owns Gold Rush Gaming, which operates video gambling terminals, according to its website.

The original agreement included a Ricky Rockets gas station on the 7.5 acre site but now it will be a Thortons with video gambling. The developer also had sought additional liquor licenses for the retail complex proposed for the site.

City council members considered entering into the new agreement last month but tabled the plan. Several council members didn't want to grant those additional liquor licenses because there have been no specific tenants identified and they had concerns that the retail center would fill up with gambling businesses. Heidner has agreed to forgo the additional liquor licenses but may still come back to city council once specific tenants are identified for the complex.

As part of the development, Heidner will complete about $100,000 in improvements in parking for Riverside Chocolate Factory and will front about $20,000 toward a new entryway sign for the city of McHenry, according to city documents.

The water main must also be extended by about a half mile Adams Drive to Chapel Hill Road, according to city documents.

"An extremely critical component of the project and a future economic development driver for the city is the extension of the water main," said Economic Development Director Doug Martin in a note to the council. "This has been a past development impediment and will be a significant economic development enhancement on east Route 120."

He said the infrastructure improvement with foster both business and residential growth in the area.

Thortons is also seeking to establish a video gambling cafe at its station in Lake in the Hills.

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