UPDATE: SOUTH BELOIT (WIFR) -- We're learning more detail about a new development project in South Beloit that's expected to provide more shopping choices and dozens of jobs.
A grassy lot sits empty on Willowbrook Rd. near I-90 in South Beloit, but that could soon change. The city is moving forward with a plan to allow Hendricks Commercial Properties to transform 450,000 square feet. The portion that looks like an outdoor mall would include a Meijer grocery store and other retail shops. The project may also bring multi-family homes.
"We've been working with this particular developer on this site for the past, about two years, and it's quite a process with all parties involved so we're really excited that it's gotten to this point," said Roxanne Sosnowski, the city attorney for South Beloit.
Bruce Nordlof works across the street from the project site at Axium Foods. He believes the shopping center will give South Beloit the economic boost it has needed for years.
"It's going to create jobs and people can start getting back on their feet, you know there's a lot of unemployment around the area," said Nordlof.
The retail space could also attract more people to the Stateline.
"It might bring more people to the area because there's not a Meijer grocery store around this area so they might want to come check out and see what they got."
The city council is expected to vote on a special use permit for the developer at its May 19th meeting, the zoning board approved it last night. The developer hasn't mentioned any other definite stores going into the center besides Meijer.
Construction is expected to begin in the Fall with work on Meijer beginning next Spring. The grocery store is expected to open in early 2016.
It's a plan that been talked about for years and now we could see a new grocery store and several other retail shops move into South Beloit next Summer.
The project to turn this land along Willowbrook Road in South Beloit into retail shops has been on hold for awhile. Wednesday night the village board approved a special use permit for Hendricks Commercial Properties. The group plans to build a Meijer on this land along with a possible movie theater or multifamily homes. No final decisions have been made. Construction is expected to start next year.