Village of Bartlett Economic Development Commission met April 8.
Here is the minutes provided by the commission:
1) Call to Order
G. Kubaszko called the meeting to order at 7:03 pm.
2) Roll Call
Present: S. Gandsey, M Hughes, G. Kubaszko, T. Smodilla, N. Gudenkauf, J. LaPorte,
Absent: C. Green, A. Lewensky, R. Perri
Also Present: T. Fradin, Economic Development Coordinator;
S. Skrycki, Assistant Village Administrator;
J. Dienberg, Administrative Intern
3) Approval of Minutes
T. Smodilla called a Point of Order and made a motion that future agendas be amended to include Public Comment at agenda item number 4 to allow for residents to speak for a few moments and be on their way rather than sitting through the entire meeting.
Seconded by: G. Kubaszko
Vote: 6 ayes, 3 absent
A motion was made to approve the minutes from the March 11th, 2019 meeting.
Motioned by: J. LaPorte
Seconded by: M. Hughes
S. Gandsey Abstained
4) Chamber of Commerce Update
N. Gudenkauf brought copies of the chamber’s newest directory, and passed out copies to the commissioners for them to see any of the Chambers newest updates.
T. Fradin stated that when the EDC was originally formed, it was comprised that one member would automatically be a representative of the Chamber of Commerce. He stated that he would turn it over to Nan for an update on what the chamber is up to.
N. Gudenkauf showed the commissioners the chamber’s resource guide, stating that 14,300 were mailed out to residents and businesses in town. She added that they are always active at Heritage Days, National Night Out, and other local events to get their directories out and encouraging the community to shop local, and support their local businesses. She stated that the chamber is regularly called by people looking for local businesses and trades people. She added that the Chamber has a golf outing upcoming and that they are looking for golfers, sponsors, donations and volunteers for their event. She also stated that on May 15th they have “Breakfast with the Village”, where Mayor Wallace gives an annual report. She added that if anyone knows a business that would be interested in joining the chamber, that they would love to speak with them.
S. Gandsey asked if when a new business comes to town, if the Village puts them in contact with the Chamber.
N. Gudenkauf stated that she didn’t think so, and stated that she would love to have a list of new businesses. She added that Scott and Tony always do an excellent job of promoting the chamber to new businesses.
T. Fradin stated that there is no official list whenever businesses open. He said that when things open, they put it out on Discover Bartletter.
T. Smodilla asked if the Chamber and Village had worked together to put the recent email database together. She added that the Chamber would be a great partner in developing a survey to go out to the businesses.
S. Skrycki stated that the Village does work with the chamber, and added that not every business is a member of the chamber, adding that over half of the businesses aren’t. He added that the Village always encourages them to join.
M. Hughes asked if the chamber has information from new businesses in Hanover Park.
N. Gudenkauf stated that they do, stating that she is on their equivalent of the EDC and that she goes out and greets new businesses, and introduces them to the community, encouraging them to join the chamber.
T. Fradin stated that they could look at that process, adding that they do work closely with new businesses, and stressed that they always encourage those businesses to join the chamber.
N. Gudenkauf added that the chamber recently has allowed businesses to do either four payments or even monthly payments to lessen the burden to new small businesses to make the cost more manageable. She added that many businesses aren’t aware of what the chamber can do to help them, adding that struggling businesses are their specialty.
5) Brewster Creek Business Park Open House April 18th
T. Fradin stated that staff continues working closely with Chicago area industrial real estate brokers and local, regional and national developers to identify sites for development in Brewster Creek Business Park for the past fifteen-plus years.
The industrial vacancy rate as reported in February was at 8.2%, with the decrease from 14.8% in Q1 of 2018 due to the execution of major leases including Animal Supply Company, Axium Plastics, Clarke Packaging & Crating and Brolite Products. Since that time, the first building in Brewster Creek, the former Unique Blister Packaging building at 1296 Humbracht Circle, has been leased to HK Laser Systems, a South Korean high-tech company.
One of the newest and largest buildings in both the business park and the Village as a whole is Exeter Property Group’s 421,354 SF speculative building located at 1323 Brewster Creek Boulevard. Exeter Property Group (http://exeterpg.com) is an institutional investor/developer who first entered Brewster Creek Business Park when they purchased the former Victory Land Group building at 1350 Munger Road (currently leased to Creative Werks).
Staff has worked closely with Exeter, who still has 199,203 SF available in this building, making it the largest current vacancy in the Village.
As an effort to help them attract a tenant to the site, Mr. Fradin shared that staff is coordinating an open house on April 18th from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
T. Fradin invited the commissioners to register for this event via Eventbrite and if you know of any investors, businesses or brokers who you think may be interested, please feel free to forward your invitation to them. He added that registration will close this Sunday, the 14th, so that staff can provide the caterer and furniture provider with final counts.
S. Gandsey asked what list he sent this invitation to. She also asked if staff still had a relationship with Sperry Van Ness, and asked if they would be of help with this.
T. Fradin stated that they sent it to Chicago Industrial Properties who sent it out to all of their subscribers (12,000 people) and also emailed it to a list of brokers that the Village has put together from contacts that staff has met over the years. He stated that he also received a small list from Choose DuPage. He added that Sperry Van Ness is on this email list, but specified that they are retail brokers and that few brokers span across retail and industrial.
6) Business Email Blast
T. Fradin shared that in an effort to strengthen the ties between the Village’s business community and the Village’s economic development efforts, staff has gathered a list of email contacts from most of the businesses in the community.
It is an ongoing goal of the Village Board to enhance and maintain communications with residents, so now the same effort is being applied to our business sector.
Last week, the first email blast was sent out, highlighting the reduced vacancy rate as suggested by the EDC along with information on an upcoming training on how to be prepared for an active shooter, an update on Lake Michigan water, the Downtown TOD Plan, the BEDA program and offers to highlight them on Discover Bartlett and get in touch with the Building Department.
T. Fradin shared that staff will send these out periodically in an ongoing effort to improve communications and to generate additional investment from our growing business community. He asked Assistant Village Administrator, Scott Skrycki, to elaborate more on this initiative.
S. Skrycki added that it has been a goal of staff to communicate with the entire business community with one click of a button, he stated that they do not have 100% of the businesses listed, but they are striving to do that. He highlighted that they have sent out an email in light of recent tragedies inviting businesses to an active shooter training hosted by the Bartlett Police Department. They have highlighted information about Lake Michigan Water, the TOD Plan, BEDA, and other big topics.
J. LaPorte asked if they received any feedback from the first email, and asked if it sparked any BEDA applications.
S. Skrycki stated that there was a lot of positive feedback.
T. Fradin stated that he received a call about a BEDA grant this morning. S. Gandsey asked if they are able to see the data of who opens, clicks, etc.
S. Skrycki stated that they are. He added that it also showed initial typos, hard bounces, soft bounces, etc. He added that they will continue to fix these errors and will strive to hit 100% of businesses.
N. Gudenkauf stated that she was looking for more information about the active shooter, but hasn’t heard more. She wanted to know if there will be more information sent to the chamber.
S. Skrycki stated that this email was more of an “FYI”, and staff recently put out a save the date. He added that once more logistics are ironed out, they would love to have the chamber’s support. He added that the event will be held in the Police Department, and that it will be in the morning and afternoon, stating he would send out the official times when he knows them. He also stated that the hope is that this event becomes the first in a series of events to help build the relationship of the police and business community, and to help increase the safety of Bartlett’s Businesses.
7) New Business/Public Comment
T. Fradin informed the EDC that the fitness business, Orangetheory, will be opening a franchise in Bartlett in the Brewster Creek Shopping Center. He added that as a part of their market research, many of their members live in Bartlett and travel to the Roselle location.
S. Gandsey stated that she is a member at the Roselle location, and had good things to say about the business, expressing excitement of a Bartlett location.
M. Hughes asked if it would affect their neighbor yoga establishment in that same center.
T. Fradin stated that the owner has spoken with the yoga establishment, and determined that
the businesses are different enough that they do not foresee any issues.
S. Skrycki added that the recommendations made in the last meeting of improving the striping at the METRA station has been added to the Village’s schedule and also added that Public Works would also look into addressing the lighting. Both will be addressed in the summer to put in all new striping along the METRA, and the lighting is being looked into. He added that this is an example of changes that the EDC has made that became a quick reality.
T. Smodilla thanked Mr. Skrycki for their quick action, and expressed the enthusiasm that the owners of Downtown businesses are bound to have. She added that when looking into the lights that staff look into warmer lighting options as opposed to the current LED lighting.
S. Gandsey asked if there are any updates on Bartlett Plaza.
T. Fradin stated that Mr. Rafidia had his site plan approved by the Village Board with 8 special uses all included. He stated that this is another positive step forward in the process, and that staff meets with him weekly.
S. Gandsey asked about the Bartlett Tap and their BEDA Grant.
T. Fradin stated that he had just finished writing the final report for the Village Board, and that it was on the schedule for the next board meeting, adding that his goal is to open this month.
S. Skrycki stated that he was in there last week and that it is looking very good, and they have made great progress.
N. Gudenkauf asked about the site next to Bartlett Tap, and if that was still on track, as she stated that a rumor is going around that it is all over.
S. Skrycki stated that those rumors are not true, and that he met with the developers last week and nothing has changed, and they are coming to town.
A motion was made to adjourn the meeting.