HOMEWOOD | If Walmart does indeed proceed with a plan to relocate from Glenwood to Homewood, the news might not be all negative for Glenwood.
Homewood Village President Rich Hofeld said Thursday he will recommend that his Village Board try to lessen the loss.
"I would like to have an intergovernmental agreement with Glenwood where we would give 10 percent of the sales tax generated from that Super Walmart for a three-year period, to Glenwood," Hofeld said.
Hofeld said it was not until an October meeting with a developer that he learned of Walmart's plan to close the Glenwood Walmart and open a Super Walmart at the former location of a Super Kmart at 17550 Halsted St. That store closed on Dec. 15.
"I said I don't want to see a neighboring community hurt," Hofeld said. "And they said they were gonna do it regardless and they asked for some sales tax sharing incentives and I said no."
Hofeld said the same request was turned down again at a November meeting.
"So they're coming in with no incentives," he said.
Glenwood Village President Kerry Durkin said Walmart informed him on Dec. 12 of of its relocation plan.
He still holds out hope the village can negotiate with Walmart to remain in Glenwood.
Hofeld said other developers have shown interest in the former Kmart site, but that when Walmart came in "they had essentially a signed lease from Sears Holding, who controls the property."
Hofeld said he does not know when the Super Walmart might move into the Homewood location.
"We were contacted by Sears Holding that we should direct all of our inquiries to a Walmart representative," he said.
Hofeld said the addition of a Super Walmart would help stabilize Homewood's sales tax revenues since it lost the Super Kmart.
"There will be probably an incremental increase compared to what the Kmart was doing," he said.
But Hofeld said he "thinks the world" of Durkin and has concern for Glenwood.
"They're going to be losing their ... as far as I know ... their largest retail sales tax contributor, and I just don't like to see a neighboring town hurt."