Romeoville officials get first look at new Toyota dealership

Brock A. Stein | 4/12/2016, 10:13 a.m.
The new dealership will relocate from its current site on Larkin Ave. in Joliet.
Thomas Toyota in Romeoville concept art. Village of Romeoville

The Romeoville village board got their first glimpse at the concept plan for a new Toyota dealership set to begin construction this fall at the southwest corner of Weber Road and Grand Haven Circle.

The new 46,000 square foot facility will be the new home of Thomas Toyota, which is currently located at 1437 N. Larkin Ave. in Joliet.

Romeoville Mayor John Noak announced the dealership’s impending move to the new 5.8 acre site at the Rose Plaza commercial development at the state of the village address in February.

The new dealership “opens up a lot of new opportunities for the community” to attract more business to the Weber Road corridor said Noak.

The site will include 365 parking spaces and three access points. Noak said that more detailed plans would be coming over the next few months ahead of an expected fall construction start date.

“It’s a very nice looking facility,” said Noak.

The mayor said that village planners and staff would look at the impact of lighting for the site to ensure as to not “overwhelm the immediate area” and would work with the owner of the site to make improvements to a private access road and work to ensure that non-functional street lighting is switched on.

“We need to have that properly lit on that corridor,” said Noak.

Trustee Ken Griffin expressed concern about possible parking on the private road and on Grand Haven Circle as well as the condition of a fence on the property that has fallen into disrepair.

Noak said that site maintenance issues will be rectified and that some of the neglect stemmed from the result of the recession.

Thomas Toyota will build a new dealership on Weber Rd in Romeoville.

Village of Romeoville

Thomas Toyota will build a new dealership on Weber Rd in Romeoville.

The relocation of the dealership from Joliet to Romeoville means that the current Larkin Ave. site will be half vacated with a current Nissan dealership remaining.

Joliet economic development director Steve Jones said in February that the move was made necessary by the demands of Toyota corporate which was pushing for a new location closer to the interstate corridor and farther north.

At the time, Jones said that the ultimate fate of the Larkin Ave. site would be up to the Thomas family who own the land.

The Village of Romeoville in February also approved an incentive plan with the dealership that will refund $8.2 million in sales tax revenue of 70% of revenue in the first 5 years.

That amount will decrease to 60% in the second 5 years of the agreement and will decrease again to a 50/50 split until the full incentive amount is paid.

The village has agreed to cap its building permit fee at $10,000 and engineering and review fees at $25,000 for the project.

Employees of the dealership will also receive free membership to the village’s recreation center at 900 Romeo Rd.

In a separate arrangement, the dealership has also agreed to a 10-year court sponsorship for the village’s athletic and events center for $5,000 per year.

brock@thetimesweekly.com or Twitter @BrockAStein