© 2023 WGLT
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Normal Plans For Portillo's, Community's Future

WGLT Staff

The $1.8 million tax rebate to developers of a popular Chicago-based restaurant is high, but reasonable for one projected to bring in $8 million in annual sales. 

That is according to Normal’s City Manager, Mark Peterson. 

The town council approved an agreement to build a Portillo's where the current Motel 6 stands at 202 Landmark Drive off Veteran's Parkway.

Council Member Jeff Fritzen called this project essentially a "small TIF district" but Mayor Chris Koos said residents have been requesting the restaurant for years. Peterson said the five percent return Portillo's offered to developers was too low, so the town is helping. 

"That works for us. We're confident this restaurant will be successful," said Peterson. "So they're going to take a rebate until they get $1.825 million. Then their gap is covered, and then they know they've got an eight percent rate of return moving forward." 

Peterson, along with other Trustees, believe the investment into Portillo's will bring in travelers passing through I-55 and surrounding cities and attract developers to the Kroger property on East College Avenue when the grocery store moves to Bloomington.

Motel 6 will be compensated more than $3 million for closing its doors. 

The council also approved the five-year Community Investment Plan. It contains some projects absolutely essential in providing a service or operating a facility. The $91.8 million will be spent through 2022 on a variety of projects, including streets and parks. But, Peterson says most of the repairs the town needs to make are not urgent. 

"Most of the items are in the yellow category which are important, but not critical," said Peterson. "So if they had to be adjusted, schedule-wise, they could be." 

Peterson said the Fairview Family Aquatic Center has a failing filter system and must be repaired in order to be used next summer. The project will cost approximately $35,000.

Baylee Steelman joined us in November 2016. She is a journalism major graduating in May 2018. She mainly covers Bloomington City and Normal Town Council meetings, Unit 5 School Board meetings, produces the weekend News In Review, and helps run GLT events. Baylee also produces and anchors at TV-10, Illinois State University's student TV news station.
Related Content