Tag: Checkers

Maywood Checkers Shuttered | Maywood Church, Seeking to Expand, Confronts Officials Worried About Losing Taxes

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IMG_5552Saturday, April 29, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 3:55 p.m.

Less than three years after it first opened in September 2014, the Checkers at 1718 S. First Ave. in Maywood is closed.

The closure seems rather abrupt, considering the store location still has a Facebook page that was active up until March 28 and the location is still listed on the company’s online database of locations.

In a phone interview on Saturday, Trustee Isiah Brandon said that Checkers officials contacted village officials Monday with the news that the store was closing. They also sent an email, he said. Company officials cited low sales as a contributing factor, Brandon added.

In a 2014 interview, Christopher Ilekis, a principal at Vequity, the real estate investment and development company that bought the property before leasing it to Checkers, said that the property, which had formerly been a KFC restaurant, had been in bankruptcy before his company acquired it in a portfolio sale.

The Maywood store opened on the same day as the Broadview checkers, located at 1617 W. Roosevelt Rd. The latter location is still open. The Maywood store, along with the Broadview store, was corporately owned and operated.

No one from Checkers or Vequity could be contacted for comment over the weekend. More as this story develops.

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Maywood church, seeking expansion, runs into village concerns over taxes 

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Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 2.04.28 PMA Maywood church seeking to expand its operations into an area that’s zoned commercial while maintaining property tax exemption encountered some wariness among some village officials at an April 26 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting.

The New Hope Christian Center Church, 14 S. 19th Ave., wants to buildout and modify existing unoccupied commercial space at 2 South 19th Ave., which is separated from the church facility by a vacant, fenced-in lot. The church owns both properties.

New Hope plans to turn the commercial space into theNew Hope Empowerment Center, an “educational agency” that would “focus on teaching Christian principles, as well as academics and technology values to individuals of all ages,” according to project summary released by the church’s pastor, Bishop Anthony G. Wellington.

According to a business plan that Wellington submitted on behalf of his church, the new facility would host weekly job training sessions, prayer meetings, “biblical guidance sessions” and “biblical enhancement sessions.”

But village staff members and some board members stated that they’re worried that “this project may be an expansion of the [tax-exempt] church into the C2 Pedestrian Oriented Commercial District,” according to an April 26 village memo written by Josh Koonce, the village’s planning and zoning officer.

“In fact,” Koonce states, “Mr. Wellington has indicated that the purpose of the new development is to expand the capacity and footprint of the church.”

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At Wednesday’s LLOC meeting, Trustee Michael Rogers expressed some reservations over the village allowing the church to turn the commercial property, which currently generates commercial property taxes, into tax-exempt property.

“The whole concept of our [taking the] limited commercial property that we have off the tax rolls is problematic,” Rogers said.

“That zone, when you cross the tracks, is called Broadway. That’s a heavy commercial usage. The non-conforming uses already there are grandfathered in, but it’s important not to lose any more commercial property with the straits that the village is in.”

Rogers said that, despite his reservations, the church’s proposal should be vetted by the village’s Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeal. Trustee Henderson Yarbrough echoed Rogers’s sentiments.

“I have the same concerns that Trustee Rogers just mentioned,” he said. “With this going to the planning and zoning board, hopefully these questions will be answered during that period of time. We look forward to their recommendations.”

Wellington’s attorney, however, said that the church’s proposal represents the “highest and best” use of the abandoned commercial space, which used to be a paint store.

“Any other commercial use would be an island on that corner,” he said.

The board voted unanimously on village staff’s recommendation to move the proposal to the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeal.

According to the village memo, that board will be responsible for determining “whether the proposal fits within the definition of Educational Facility, Vocational School or Training Academy (a special use in the C-2 district – Section 17.4 and Table 8-1 of the Village of Maywood Zoning Ordinance), or if this proposal constitutes an expansion of a church into a commercial district (not permitted).” VFP

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Quick News: Proposed Checkers Restaurant Progressing, New Police Truck Scales, Water and Garbage Rate Increases

Thursday, January 30, 2014 || Michael Romain 

Checkers Restaurant A Step Closer to Completion

At a January 21, regular Board meeting, the Village Board unanimously passed an ordinance “approving special uses for an electronic message board sign and for a drive-thru and additional variations related to a landscape buffer, fence height and signage in a C-3 General Commercial zoning district”–all related to the Checker’s Drive-In to be built at 1718 1st Avenue, the former site of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Trustee Michael Rogers, an architect by profession, had some concerns about reducing any instances of pest control on the site.

“Can we have the enclosure for the dumpster built out of mason materials? Can the gate we made out of washable material as opposed to wood which harbors bacteria and rots?” he said.

A representative with Vequity, LLC, the real estate investment and development firm that is responsible for the Checkers project, said he and his team would be willing to address those concerns, among others. To read a draft copy of the ordinance, click here.

New Police Truck Scales Anticipated to Bring In Thousands in Added Revenue

This year, the Village Board also approved the purchase of four truck weight scales for a total cost of $5,995. According to a January 15, 2014, Board item report, last year revenue from the police department’s Truck Enforcement unit netted zero dollars due to the fact that the truck scales currently in use were not functional.

“These scales were purchased between 2002-2003, and have been repaired numerous times, as well as calibrated. The cost of repairs for these scales would cost $300-$600 dollars per scale (4 total) depending on the repairs needed. I believe it in the best interest of the Village to purchase new scales. The proposed purchase is with A&A Scales, at the cost of $5,995. The truck enforcement program brings in several thousand dollars per month.”

Mayor Perkins said that the truck scales used to bring in $100,000 a year when they were functional.

“We have a lot of trucks hitting Washington Boulevard, which is really not a truck route. This is money well spent,” said Trustee Audrey Jaycox.

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“I’ve been seeing over-sized trucks coming down side streets,” said Trustee Cheryl Ealey-Cross.

Trustee Ron Rivers said that he’s seen trucks exiting the pallet company on 9th Avenue and St. Charles try to make right turns on 5th Avenue en route to the expressway. “They’ve come so close that they’ve bent the speed limit sign.”

The scales would be placed at four strategic locations throughout the Village. According to Police Chief Talley, the scales, which are portable, would be placed at points between First Avenue and Roosevelt Road.

Waste and Water Rate Increases 

Residents of Maywood should expect to see slight increases in their monthly payments for both water and garbage/waste. An “ordinance amending chapter 50 (Garbage and Waste) section 50.05 (Fees) of the Maywood Village Code relative to the schedule of fees for waste collection,” adopts a monthly rate of $23.06 per “family unit” to Allied Waste for the calendar year of 2014. Residents previously payed a rate of $21.53 a month. That amounts to an increase of $1.53 a month, or $18.36 a year.

Since January 1, 2014, Maywood residents have also experienced an increase in their water bills due to the City of Chicago implementing a 15% increase in the water rate they charge their customers. According to a November 19, 2013, Village Board agenda item report:

“The City of Chicago presently charges us $2.16 per 100 cubic feet. The 15% increase would raise the rate to $2.48 per 100 cubic feet, or an increase of $.32 per 100 cubic feet. Based on 1,270,000 – 100 c.f. units on an annual basis, the cost increase from the City of Chicago would increase Village expenses to operate the water fund by $406,400. It is proposed that the Village’s rate increase from $9.132 per 100 cubic feet to $9.452 per 100 cubic feet to cover the increase from the City of Chicago. This equates to an overall increase of 3.5%.” VFP