Strip mall rendering

A new strip mall will be built at the Uptown Square site in Romeoville. (Village of Romeoville / February 10, 2014)

A developer will receive $400,000 in tax increment finance (TIF) dollars to construct a strip mall building adjacent to the new athletic and event center at the Uptown Square area.

Trustees signed off on the incentives at a Feb. 5 village board meeting and said the strip mall project will likely be the final development at the site, which will also include an 8,000-square-foot grocery store and restaurant.

"It's all coming together," said Romeoville Mayor John Noak. "We are doing our best to bring quality redevelopment (to that site)."

The redevelopment agreement with HB Uptown LLC, calls for a 9,000- to 11,000-square-foot free standing retail center that will consist of multiple tenant spaces, according to documents. Village officials said most of the TIF incentives will be used to construct a new parking lot at the site.

The developer must build the new retail center before July 2016 in order to receive the TIF funds. In a TIF district, the amount of property taxes paid to local governments is frozen for up to 23 years, and new tax dollars generated by rising property values are reinvested in such areas as infrastructure to promote development in the district.

Village officials said they will announce prospective retailers for the strip mall site near Illinois Route 53 and Normantown Road in the coming months.

The village in January also decided to give BG Investments LLC $650,000 in TIF and other incentive funds to construct the new grocery store and restaurant at the Uptown square site. Noak recently said that the new grocery store, called Franconi's, is a "quality of life issue for residents," on the east side of town.

For years, the east side of town has lacked quality businesses including a grocery store, but village officials are hoping the new Uptown Square site will attract even more retail to the overall area.

The Uptown Square site, known formerly as the dilapidated Spartans' Square shopping plaza, also includes a newly constructed 60,000-square-foot community and event center that partially opened up its doors last month.

An outside company, Indoor Sports Management Group LLC of La Grange is managing the facility and will share some profits with the village. The athletic and event center includes basketball courts, a large indoor open area, multipurpose space and several conference rooms.