Portillo, Town – Monday night

By:  Diane Benjamin

See the packet for the Town of Normal Council meeting Monday night here:  http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2249

Portillo Summary:

  • The project is being done by a developer – Bloomington Landmark Development Inc
  • Despite the name, this company has a Chicago agent and address:  CT CORPORATION SYSTEM
  • Normal is rebating Sales taxes of $1,825,000 PLUS interest at 8%
  • Normal won’t keep any Sales Tax for at least 5 years

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Developers now make plans based on incentives. The days in Bloomington-Normal for entrepreneurs risking only their own money (capitalism) are gone. 

How popular are 5-7 year old restaurants in the twin cities?  It should prove interesting.  Meanwhile, I heard of a guy that wanted to open a pizza place in Uptown was told NO.

Some interesting spending up for approval:

Where does your money get spent? Interest!

(and some principal)


20 thoughts on “Portillo, Town – Monday night

  1. The Town employees are covered by gold plated healthcare plans and need to pay monthly fee to a consultant for management of this plan? I thought HR department managed health plans. Here’s an idea. Simplify.

  2. Is THIS the “NEW” normal? Bring in some hi-flying new name (of all things ANOTHER eatery)business and give them a meal ticket. Carnegie, Morgan, Astor, Vanderbilt, et al. would be laughing ALL the way to the bank with stunts like this. Why risk one’s OWN money when KOOS will graciously GIVE you a cash cow. What next-wait, I DO NOT wanna know. Meanwhile Peoria CUT $10 million OUT of their budget because of lower then expected revenue-see a problem on the moonrise??

    1. It gets worse! Normal is assuming this is NEW money. It isn’t. People will just shift from existing restaurants to this one. Since they are giving away the Food and Beverage Tax, they will end up with even less.

  3. How about rolling back the 1% increase to the sales tax that Peterson pushed for and of course was approved by the Normal Town Council back in September 2015. All of these tax incentives show that our taxes are too high, but instead of giving every one a level playing field, our elected officials get to pick the winners and losers.

    Enjoy your Chicago style hotdogs, Bloomington Normal, because like all things Chicago taxpayers are subsidizing it.

  4. Tour a slaughterhouse! You’ll NEVER eat another hot dog! Or if you’re squeamish, just read Upton Sinclair! And from ANOTHER angle, it is NOT NEW MONEY! The motel 6 paid hotel tax, so we tear down a usable building for a hot dog place, Mr KOOS has a really WARPED sense of sustainable. Too bad the council (read lemmings) is following him over the cliff.

    1. True dat, I thought the sustainbility freaks were anti-pig and cow farts. A bunch of hypocrites they are. Follow the money.

  5. I think you all are missing the boat…people will FLOCk to Normal in DROVES to dine at Portillo’s. The nearest Portillo’s is 48 miles away in Shorewood IL. There isn’t one in Peoria, Champaign/Urbana, or Springfield. This is an opportunity only for the “first mover”.

    After dining, patrons will stop and taste a couple of fresh brews at Destihl’s new tasting room. And either they will get popped for DUI by the friendly but safety conscious Normal Police (cha-ching), or they will ride Connect Transit to the new Downtown Bloomington HOTEL to spend the night (albeit the hotel may be wise to offer a discount to anyone showing their receipt from the aforementioned government-selected winning establishments). See how holistic this all is? Can Central Planning get any better?

    Now please forgive my satire…as I honestly think “Townie” got it right when he/she said: “Why risk one’s OWN money when KOOS will graciously GIVE you a cash cow.”

    I tell you what. I’d be pissed if I owned a restaurant in Normal; doubly so if I lived in Normal.

  6. That seems to be the theme as of late. Companies have leverage over the locales they operate in. They know they can threaten to move, close or not build and receive inducements all in the name of prosperity. However, after seeing what happened with Scott Walker in Wisconsin and the WEDC, what happened with Mitsubishi, I have lost faith in how government wants to help keep jobs from disappearing. Companies know they can still make profits and get more inducements to stay. Do any of the money saved from tax breaks result in expansion or increasing wages? Do they just allow the companies to bank roll replacing more humans with automated processes? We either get used to working like the Chinese or people need to get degrees to service and program the robots used in manufacturing. Scary times ahead.

  7. That is a good point. Most of the Portillos I have been at employ a lot of people. Now they are for the most part busy all the time, that is still a lot of people they are paying. One other piece, Portillos charges higher prices than other fast food joints. So they don’t have to sell as much to make a profit as say McD’s. Add in the lost business due to Portillos and the other fast food joints are having to deal with less profits and high sales tax. I tried to explain to my wife why this is bad but she seemed to think it was because other businesses did not negotiate well. She doesn’t get that road repairs cost money. If all the other businesses don’t make up the difference than that is a shortage. Would be great if the family owned restaurants could get a break.

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