Incentives for car dealers' plans on table

Incentives for car dealers' plans on table

DANVILLE — Aldermen on Tuesday night will consider providing incentives for the redevelopment of the former American Chevrolet dealership on North Vermilion Street and the redevelopment of Courtesy Ford's dealership location on West Main Street.

First, at a special meeting, then at the full city council meeting, aldermen will consider the redevelopment agreements for the two locations, which will allow the Ford dealership to physically split from the Dodge dealership.

The council's public services committee will consider the agreements first at 5:30 p.m. and the full council will consider them at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the municipal building, 17 W. Main St., Danville.

Both dealerships have been operating separately at 231 W. Main St. in downtown Danville since 2007, when J.R. Fregia, owner of Courtesy Ford Lincoln Mercury, took over the local Dodge franchise.

Courtesy Ford will move to 3533 N. Vermilion St. on the north end of the city, and Dodge will remain the sole franchise at the 231 W. Main St. location in downtown Danville.

In October 2007, Fregia reached an agreement with Dodge to take over the local franchise but run it separately from his Ford Lincoln Mercury dealership.

For years, Dodge vehicles were sold locally at Koehn Motors, 3811 N. Vermilion St. in Danville, but that dealership closed its doors in August 2007.

Fregia, who has owned the Courtesy dealership since 2003, said in 2007 that he would like a separate location for the Dodge dealership and also wanted to expand the Courtesy Ford dealership.

According to city documents, the redevelopment agreements would provide Courtesy Ford with a 50 percent rebate of sales tax up to $100,000 per year and $500,000 total and also would provide $200,000 in Tax Increment Financing money for the redevelopment project costs.

City Attorney David Wesner said these are similar to other redevelopment agreements the city has had with businesses that want to expand or move into the city. He said the agreements require that the businesses stay in operation for 10 years, otherwise the incentive must be repaid to the city.

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