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Costco looking to build production facility in Morris

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

MORRIS – It’s not official that Costco’s new project is coming to Morris, but it’s the front-runner.

Costco is looking at making a $110 million investment by possibly building a new facility in Morris, Nancy Norton Ammer, CEO of the Grundy Economic Development Council, said Tuesday.

The proposed area is just west of its current distribution center at 3800 N. Division St., near Route 47. Mayor Richard Kopczick said at Monday’s council meeting the company submitted a draft annexation agreement to the city, but it has not been examined by city staff or by any of its committees yet. The company wants to annex 140 acres into the city.

During Monday’s meeting, the council approved a four-year, 50 percent tax abatement agreement with Costco, if it gets annexed into the city.

“They want to know if the city will support a property tax abatement,” he said.

Kopczick said he did not know the details of Costco’s plan, but that the company is looking to build a production facility, not a retail facility.

Because of the large amount of investment, Costco is eligible for a four-year tax incentive rather than the usual three-year abatement on their property taxes, Ammer said. The three-year agreement is usually for an abatement of 75 percent the first year, 50 percent the second year and 25 percent the third year.

Nine taxing bodies are looking at the tax abatement proposal.

For the city of Morris, it would receive $50,000 in property taxes a year from the project. Through the abatement, $25,000 of that would go to Costco for four years and $25,000 to the city.

“After four years the city would retain 100 percent of the property tax so that $25,000 would turn to $50,000 a year that we will receive,” Kopczick said Tuesday.

Currently the city receives no property taxes from the property because it is not in the city.

If the project moves forward in Morris, the company plans to hire 87 to 110 employees, Ammer said. There is no specific timeline for the new facility, but it is anticipated to be this year.

In other business Monday, the city council approved Angelina’s Nail & Spa request for a conditional permitted use permit to add massage therapy to its services at the nail salon.

The business is inside the Four Season Plaza at 1465 N. Division St. in Morris. To accommodate the new service, the business has expanded into the storefront next door to its current location in the plaza, said Katie Reed, employee of the salon, to the Planning Commission last month.

The owner, Rosa Liz Nguyen was present last month and at Monday’s meeting.

The request was approved with some restrictions, which included any therapists hired having to bring their state license to the city for its records, and if that employee leaves Angelina’s, the city wants to be notified, as well. The city has licenses for two therapists at the business, said Bill Cheshareck, building and zoning officer.

The CPU will allow for massage therapy only during the same hours of operation as the nail services, which is currently 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Angelina’s can begin offering massage therapy 10 days after the council approved the CPU.

In other business news, Alderman Don Hansen announced that the Judiciary and License Committee approved a business license for a Dollar Tree at 2405 Sycamore Drive, in the plaza behind the Wendy’s restaurant on Route 47.

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