The proposed sales tax for the Montclair shopping center in Edwardsville is on indefinite hold while the owners and the city sort out their plans for the project.
The Montclair shopping center is an older strip mall in the center of Edwardsville, home to a number of small shops such as The Bike Shop, Edwardsville Flea Market, an Illinois Secretary of State driver’s license bureau and anchored by the Deals bargain store. The shopping center was showing its age, with conspicuous vacancies and disrepair to some of its infrastructure.
Earlier this summer, the city began working on creating a business district for Montclair to add a 1-cent sales tax to raise $2 million in assistance for improvements to the center.
But the public hearing for establishing the business district has been postponed twice, and economic development director Walter Williams said the business district is now on indefinite hold.
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“We sat down with the principal players, and they were mostly planning basic maintenance items,” Williams said. “We did not think tax dollars should go to subsidize something they should be doing anyway.”
The original plan, according to the city, was to include new parking lots, roof work, facade improvements and other infrastructure to renovate not only the main strip of stores, but the outbuildings that once housed the popular Crushed Grapes wine store and still house the Rapid Lube oil-change facility and a Thai restaurant.
Owners R.L. Jones Properties could not be reached for comment. But Williams said the owners were going to revise their plan. “The city may consider it again at a later date,” Williams said.
Meantime, one of the larger empty storefronts in Montclair has since been filled by a franchise of The Bedroom Store.
The additional tax would have brought the sales tax in Montclair up to 8.1 percent, which would match the sales tax in the Edwardsville Crossing business district on the other side of Troy Road that helped fund construction of the Dierbergs plaza.