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Sycamore City Council approves Meijer plans

SYCAMORE – The Sycamore City Council unanimously approved plans Monday to develop a 193,000-square-foot Meijer supercenter in Sycamore.

A Meijer store and its gas station are planned for the Sycamore Crossings subdivision at the northwest corner of DeKalb Avenue and Peace Road, which the city annexed in 2006. 

The council voted, 7-0, Monday to approve the development by First Midwest Group of Rockford. Fourth Ward Alderman Rick Kramer was absent.

Sycamore Crossings includes about 65 acres zoned for commercial use and 17 acres zoned residential, with most of the houses along Anjali Court.

Meijer Stores Limited Partnership purchased about 18 acres of land in Sycamore Crossings for the development.

The project also plans for a 6-foot fence and row of trees behind the store as a barrier to the residences along Anjali Court.

City Manager Brian Gregory said the plan calls for 688 parking spots, which does not meet city code for a single store but meets the requirement when considering the potential 400,000 square feet of future commercial development.

“We felt comfortable after talking to Meijer that they built a very similarly situated store not too far from here, and that parking requirement has satisfied their needs,” Gregory said.

Mayor Ken Mundy said construction on the Meijer development is expected to begin in spring 2018, with the goal of having the store open in 2019.

Concerns were raised during a Planning Commission hearing last week about the Meijer potentially drawing customers from local grocery stores.

Mundy said he expects the Meijer to bring in customers from beyond the DeKalb/Sycamore area, and he does not believe other stores will be in danger from the competition.

“We heard the same thing when Jewel came, and we heard the same thing when Hy-Vee came,” he said. “There will be some transfer of sales, no doubt, from one store to the other, but we believe the area can support this store. And frankly, the consumer wins the more competition there is.”

Steve Kapitan, a DeKalb resident, addressed the council Monday and asked whether the proposed intersection could be moved to provide a Peace Road access point for the property across from Sycamore Crossings, making it more appealing for future development.

City Engineer Mark Bushnell said the DeKalb County Board would not approve a full access point to Peace Road that close to Route 23.

Meijer supercenters offer groceries, electronics, garden, patio and household goods, toys, clothing, health and beauty products, sporting goods, baby items, party supplies, pet care, home improvement and automotive products, according to the proposal.