Meeting Recap: Ecomic Development Commission
With new businesses coming and important development on the rise, the commission is optimistic about the village's economic recovery.
The Economic Development Commission discussed how the influx of new business and development are positive signs Lisle’s economy is rebounding during Friday’s informational meeting at Village Hall.
Commission members are excited for new businesses such as Navistar and SunCoke Energy coming into the community while Lisle’s development projects are doing well with 100 more permits issued last year than in 2009.
Some of the meetings major points included:
Incoming and outgoing businesses: Economic Development Director Cathy Schuster said Lisle is getting a good influx of new businesses.
Expected future business openings include O’Reilly Automotive Inc., SunCoke Energy and Home Cooked Meals, and possibly Blu 47, a jazz restaurant that has applied for a restaurant grant.
Some businesses that have left the village, include Zing and La Cocina. Bank of America has closed its Main Street location to consolidate business to its drive-in location a few blocks away. MicroSun Technology will leave this spring.
Development: Development is going well in Lisle, Schuster said. Benedictine University’s Dan & Ada Rice Center’s $4.5 million renovation project is on schedule. The completion of the PrairieWalk Pond will help development, Schuster said, because it was to prevent flooding in Lisle’s eastern downtown.
Lisle Dental Center finished its façade improvement project.
Navistar will phase in occupancy with five issued building permits in May, village planner Josh Potter said, for 30 permits in all. Navistar is looking to make interior renovations and construct a new building. The permit fee, Potter said, will be 1-2 percent of the $200 million property.
“Permit fees are a source of income to the village,” Schuster said. “They are not like sales tax dollars. They are used to make sure the developers are following the building codes for safety.”
Downtown update: Schuster said the downtown has come a long way in diversifying its business. The commission did an inventory count of 101 downtown businesses and had 43 different types of services to offer consumers.
“Overall, the downtown is doing great,” Schuster said. “We have very few vacancies and as you could see with the inventory that we have a lot of diversity.”
A goal for the downtown is attracting more restaurants, Schuster said. She said Blu 47 was submitting a restaurant grant to the commission Friday to possibly come to Lisle. John Dough Bakery received a $20,000 grant following the Village Board’s recommendation.
“We think (restaurants) would add activity and liveliness at night,” Schuster said. “There is a general need for restaurants in Lisle.”
Marketing: Potter said there were 100 more permits issued in 2010 than in 2009, which he said shows good signs Lisle’s economy is recovering.
Schuster said the village will continue to attract new businesses and find ways to maintain its current businesses.
Tapping into Lisle’s consumer base to shop locally will be important.
“We need to continue our marketing efforts so we could tap into our internal market,” Schuster said. “We have thousands of people come into Lisle every day, but do they shop here? We are looking for opportunities to connect these people locally.”
One way the village has tried to assist local business was by hosting a free seminar teaching the companies’ leaders how to promote their business online through Groupon, a company that offers daily online discounts.