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Remade center means new train station for Illinois town


The town managers of New Lenox, Illinois, needed a new train station, so they bought a shopping center.

It was three years ago that Mayor Tim Baldermann and New Lenox purchased the Rock Island Station Shopping Center, according to the Chicago Tribune. It invested more than $3 million in the site, which included buying out the businesses of the four stores there, demolishing them, and doing an environmental clean-up.

New Lenox absorbed a loss in selling the site last year to TMC Illinois 2 LLC and Heidner Properties for $2.25 million. But it’s the tax revenue the reclaimed center will generate over the coming years that will provide funds for the town to build a new Metra train station in an adjacent lot.

The new Rock Island Station center will be anchored by a 13,000-sq.-ft. CVS and include up to five other stores. Last week, New Lenox officials approved the project in a unanimous vote.

Baldermann said that had the town not bought the center — which consisted of a bar, a dry cleaner, and a long-vacant restaurant — the lots would have sold individually and made the redevelopment nearly impossible.

But, added the mayor, the town board “very wisely stepped in.”

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