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MUNDELEIN, IL-More than a decade of patience will begin paying off for village officials next year, when Super Target and Home Depot open at the 520,000-sf Mundelein Crossings retail center at heavily-traveled Illinois 60 and 83. Mid-Northern Equities Ltd. and Mid-America and Mid-America Asset Management Inc. are expected to acquire more than 123 acres at the central Lake County crossroads, annex the land in an unincorporated area known as Ivanhoe into the village and break ground on the $62-million project in August.

“This is the most significant development the village of Mundelein has ever undertaken,” says Mayor Marilyn Sindles.

Super Target is shooting for an October 2004 opening, but Home Depot may beat them to the pocketbooks of shoppers in one of the wealthiest counties in the US, says Mid-Northern Equities president William Shiner.

“We’re not here without Target,” Shiner told the village board Monday night. “They’re clearly our key partner.”

Together, the co-anchors have committed to taking about 380,000 sf, with discounter T.J. Maxx taking another 50,000 sf. That leaves 90,000 sf of space, Shiner says.

The project, recommended for approval by the plan commission earlier this month and approved by the village board early this week, also may include office space and development of outlots in later stages.

The village has turned away overtures from residential developers, recalls Village Administrator Kenneth W. Marabella, opting instead to stick to its comprehensive plan for the site that has called for commercial development. “In this case, we’re following almost to the letter what we’ve contemplated for the last 14 years,” he says.

Although some question the potential $6 million reimbursement to the developer for road, sewer and utility improvements to the site, village officials argue the expense is more than justified. “The $6 million makes this project viable,” says Trustee Ed Sullivan. “It’s being a good public partner in ensuring that this project is successful.”

The project is expected to generate $1.7 million a year in property taxes and an equal amount in the village’s share of sales tax revenue–1% of an expected $170 million a year, or about $327 per sf. Meanwhile, the additional revenue for village and school coffers comes without additional residential development, which place a heavier burden on local schools and municipal services.

Instead, shoppers at Mundelein Crossings are expected to come from the village as well as some of the 1,300 new homes on the drawing boards in neighboring Round Lake and Wauconda. “Some of the other communities are providing the rooftops,” Sindles says. “We will reap the benefits of all the sales tax revenue.”

Shiner says the retail center, which will include about 35 storefronts, also is expected to provide 265 full-time and 895 part-time jobs.

Currently assessed as farm land, the annual tax bill on the acreage is less than $1,500.

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