SPRING VALLEY/SAVANNA — Sullivan's Foods owner Scott Sullivan is excited, and if all the pieces fall into place, that excitement could translate to a new grocery store and adjoining development in Spring Valley.
"We're looking at it," Sullivan said of the former Bassicks Co. site on Route 6 in Spring Valley. "We are working with the city to get the ground purchased. We'd like to get going sooner or later.
"Three months, six months, 18 months — we're going down the road, and we are wanting and willing to move forward," Sullivan added. "We are excited about the opportunity to move to Spring Valley."
A store in Spring Valley would bring Sullivan's Foods number to 12, already doing business in Princeton, Kewanee, Morrison, Freeport, Lena, Mendota, Mt. Morris, Rochelle, Savanna, Stockton and Winnebago.
Sullivan said he envisions a 30,000-square-foot store. In comparison, Princeton's store is approximately 38,000 square feet, so the potential store in Spring Valley would be a bit smaller, yet still have all the bells and whistles of a regular Sullivan's Foods.
Sullivan met with the Spring Valley Finance Committee, which included the entire Spring Valley City Council, Thursday night. While the Bassicks property has been environmentally questionable by many who have feared contaminants in the soil at the site, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has given the site a "No Further Remediation" letter, which basically means any developer/owner of the land will just need to follow certain guidelines when building.
Sullivan hasn't been swayed by the issue. He said he's fully aware of the previous problems, the IEPA's demands and the necessary steps his company would need to take to comply with the "No Further Remediation" letter.
"Basically, that letter is a requirement of what we'd have to do," Sullivan said. "I've worked with Brownfields before. There are always concerns, but this is something that is manageable. It's not something that we haven't worked with before."
Sullivan said nothing is final, as of yet, however he is moving forward.
"We've not done a lot until we get the ground locked up," he said. "It was a full board committee on Thursday night, and they all said they are going to work with us. I don't envision any problems, but we haven't transferred any money."
In addition to the Sullivan's Foods that would anchor the property, Sullivan said he plans on bringing other tenants to the complex.
"We plan on trying to bring any tenants or other parties with some outlets to the development; we have been successful in doing it in other developments in small towns. There are always regional and national tenants. but for the most part, we are bringing in local people," Sullivan said. "We want to make it a destination, generally speaking. By the time Sullivan's Foods comes in, and we get the grocery store going, they (other tenants in the complex) know we are a local people, and we are committed. We're part of the small community. That's who we are, and that's who we will be."
Sullivan said the development will probably cost in the $10 to $12 million range.
"I think it would be a very nice addition to Spring Valley," Sullivan said. "We're trying to do our part. It's not easy in today's environment, but we are trying to be the store of choice."
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