Streator council says no to $30,000 incentive for Arby’s

City manager uncertain if that will sway developer from building new restaurant

A developer is looking construct a new Arby's restaurant at the corner of Oakley Avenue and Bloomington Street, formerly Gautschy's Corner.

The Streator City Council nixed a $30,000 incentive to help bring an Arby’s restaurant to the city.

Council members Matt McMullen, Tim Geary, Jacob Darby and Brian Crouch voted against the incentive, while Mayor Tara Bedei voted in favor of extending the $30,000 in tax increment financing-eligible expenses toward the development.

Arby’s is looking to build a location at the northwest corner of Bloomington Street and Oakley Avenue, at the former location of Gautschy’s Corner. Streator Equity Group LLC recently purchased the former gas station property from the Robert and Eileen Gautschy Trust.

McMullen asked City Manger David Plyman if the city said no to the $30,000 if Arby’s still would proceed. Plyman didn’t know the answer.

McMullen added there already are many similar restaurants in the city’s northern business district and he doesn’t see Arby’s as a destination restaurant. The other council members didn’t comment.

Plyman had recommended the $30,000 incentive in a memo to the City Council. He said new construction will generate about $15,000 in property tax increment, larger than a remodeling project. The owner currently pays about $3,265 per year in taxes and two similar restaurants in Streator pay between $17,000 and $20,000 in property taxes. The prospective restaurant also would add sales tax revenue to the city.

Plyman said the city initially offered the developer an invitation to apply for a facade grant, because the city wants to improve the look of its gateway locations, considering the intersection within its Route 23 business district as one of those spots. Plyman said the property would have been eligible for up to $30,000 through the facade program, which is why the city offered that amount for a rebuild.

No one from the developer, Streator Equity Group, was in attendance at the council meeting.

Streator does not have an Arby’s. There are Arby’s locations in Ottawa, Peru and Pontiac.

FILE - This March 1, 2010, file photo shows an Arby's restaurant sign in Cutler Bay, Fla. Arby's is buying casual dining chain Buffalo Wild Wings in a deal worth about $2.4 billion. Arby's Restaurant Group Inc. said Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, that it will pay $157 per share. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)