Economic development on the rise in South Holland

2012-11-26T00:00:00Z Economic development on the rise in South HollandMary Ann Thornton Times Columnist nwitimes.com
November 26, 2012 12:00 am  • 

The village of South Holland is moving aggressively forward in its pursuit of attracting new businesses to the community. Progress is quite evident as the Village Board recently announced new business developments on the horizon along its main thoroughfare.

Construction activity at the corner of 162nd Street (Ill. 6) and Wausau Avenue is imminent as the Village Board approved a planned unit development for Chicago Bread LLC. This move positions Chicago Bread to begin erecting the franchised Panera Bread bakery-café at 300 E. 162nd St. in the community’s Town Center district. The nearly 11,000-square-foot development allocates 4,300 square feet for Panera, with a drive-through window, while the additional space is slated for two retailers. A grand opening of the new Panera is anticipated in early spring 2013.

While South Holland’s economy was impacted a few years ago with the closure of several car dealerships, the village has recovered relativly well and recently secured JD Byrider, a pre-driven automotive dealership. Byrider took ownership of the former Caddy Corner property, located at 300 W. 162nd St., and plans to open for business in January, providing a full-range of services, including sales, maintenance and finance.

After several years of vacancy, residents and business owners alike are thrilled to learn of the long-awaited sale of the former Dick James Ford property. DKM Enterprises is purchasing the 3.3-acre lot with plans to build Extreme Clean Express Carwash, featuring a complete line of wash services, free vacuums, and a self-serve pet wash station for a fast and easy cleaning of your dog. The property was actually re-subdivided to two lots, setting the stage for DKM to pursue additional retail opportunities.

Love’s Travel Stops has selected South Holland for the site of its 15-acre development at 1455-1533 E. 162nd St., the former Gibson Chevrolet and Truck-O-Mat sites. The company, which was among the first to combine self-service gasoline with the convenience store concept, will offer fresh deli sandwiches, quick-service restaurant, gift and novelty items, as well as a truck tire care center and roadside assistance.

Creative arts opportunities expanded in South Holland with the grand opening of the South Suburban Creative Arts Center, at 16252 Prince Drive. This full service facility provides instruction in ballroom dance, tap, ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, liturgical, as well as the fitness phenomenon — Zumba. SSCAC meets a need in the community and the region, as many have expressed their enthusiasm to engage in such dance lessons as the tango, waltz, rumba, salsa, swing, and more. Additionally, SSCAC offers F.I.T. (Fundamentals in Training) for youth, a tutorial program specializing in science, math and reading skills, as well as homework assistance.

South Holland’s master plan is to provide a stronger local economy by broadening commercial, retail, industrial and residential development opportunities. The Village Board and administrative team have experienced some success because of its business-friendly environment and extending opportunities for tax incentives. “The village has been the “poster child” example of why a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) was created by the state of Illinois,” said Village President Don A. De Graff. “We have used this incentive to encourage economic and job growth through new development. It’s really because of our progressive approach to create five different TIF Districts that we have been successful in attracting Panera Bread, DKM, Love’s and many others,” De Graff concluded.

Clearly, the village is progressively moving forward.

The opinions are solely the writer's. Mary Ann Thornton is communications manager for the village of South Holland. She can be reached at mat39@comcast.net.

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