Tony's supermarket planned for empty Kmart store in Joliet

Tony's Fresh Market plans to open a supermarket in the empty Kmart store in Joliet.

The city is considering a tax incentive package that would allow Tony's to keep half the sales taxes generated by the store up to a total of $3.5 million.

If the project moves ahead, the store would open in 2021, according to a staff report for the Joliet City Council Economic Development Committee. The committee will consider the incentive proposal at a meeting Tuesday.

The project would put to use the 97,000-square-foot store at one of Joliet's busiest intersections for the first time since Kmart closed at the end of 2016. It also changes a previous plan that would have converted most of the building into self-storage units and part of it into a grocery.

"Tony's wanted the whole building," said Michael Hansen, an attorney for the seller. Hansen said there were discussions with several grocers.

It would be the second Joliet store for Tony's, which also has a supermarket at Route 59 and Caton Farm Road.

Tony's is a Chicago-area supermarket chain, and the staff report notes that the company has received bigger sales tax incentive packages to open stores in Berwyn, Burbank and Round Lake Beach.

Tony's would occupy 70,000 square feet of the building and market the remaining space for future users, according to the report.

The cost of redevelopment is estimated at $20 million.

"In order to bring this building and property up to today's standards, an extensive amount of investment is required," the report states. "Tony’s will replace the existing facade, install a new roof, install new HVAC units, add new windows, add loading docks, upgrade the electric and lighting, repave the parking lot, remodel the interior space for the grocery store, and complete the build-outs for all other future tenants."

The incentive would rebate half of all sales taxes generated on the property to Tony's up to $3.5 million or as long as 20 years, whichever comes first.

Tony's would would employ 100 full-time workers and 150 part-time workers.