Buildings coming down to make way for Lansing Super Walmart

2014-01-22T09:28:00Z 2014-01-22T23:15:45Z Buildings coming down to make way for Lansing Super WalmartGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent
January 22, 2014 9:28 am  • 

LANSING | Demolition of existing structures will begin this week to clear the way for a Super Walmart store officials say could open late this year.

The Super Walmart will be built on the site of a former Sam’s Club warehouse store at 17555 Torrence Ave.

To make room for the new store and parking lot, both the Sam’s Club structure and a one-time Babies ‘R’ Us store at 17675 Torrence Ave. will be demolished.

Village Trustee Anthony DeLaurentis told the Village Board on Tuesday that permits were issued to two construction firms. Rigsby Construction will demolish the Babies ‘R’ Us, and Nowak Construction will demolish the Sam’s Club and construct the Super Walmart, which will have the address of 17625 Torrence Ave.

Village Administrator J. Wynsma said Rigsby is expected to begin work this week and to be complete by mid-April. At that point, Nowak will begin the Sam’s Club demolition, then do the Super Walmart construction. Wynsma said village officials hope the entire project is complete by early November.

The Babies ‘R’ Us demolition will take some time because officials are only tearing down half the structure, with the other half to be used as the on-site construction offices, then eventually to be converted into space for another retail store.

Wynsma said fences will be erected around both structures to keep people from wandering into a construction site. As of Tuesday night, both now-vacant structures were still exposed.

Village trustees also voted 6-0 on Tuesday in favor of recommending a Class 8 property tax exemption from Cook County government for the Super Walmart store. Such a tax break reduces by more than half the amount of property taxes to be paid during the next 12 years.

Village officials voted last year in favor of such a tax break, but later discovered the recommendation was for only one plot of land rather than the three plots the overall project will use.

Tuesday’s amended vote will include all the plots, said Village Attorney Timothy Lapp. The Cook County Board has final say over whether the tax break is granted. Such action is likely to take place later this year.

In other business, the Village Board also gave its recommendation to allowing the Cook County Board to grant a Class 6b property tax break to the Land O' Frost company, which moved part of its operations to Munster but kept administrative offices at 16850 Chicago Ave.

Land O’ Frost has had the tax break since 2001, although it is scheduled to expire this year. The Village Board’s recommendation is for extending the break for another decade.

Village President Norm Abbott said he received assurances from Land O’ Frost officials they will not move any more operations out of Lansing.

“They’re staying in Lansing,” he said. “They’re talking about doing some expansion. We’re happy about that.”

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