By: Diane Benjamin
Portillos didn’t get a dime of taxpayer money. Koos’s buddy did!
Chris Koos wanted Portillos in Normal. I don’t know if he really believed it would be a destination as he claimed, but obviously it isn’t since other nearby cities also got a Portillos.
Koos wanted the hotel where the restaurant is now gone. He wanted Portillos in Normal before they found a location in Bloomington. Hence, he gave his buddy your money to tear the hotel down so Portillos could build there.
The $1,825,000 plus 8% interest was supposed to be paid back with all the big bucks Normal would haul in the from food and beverage taxes.
This same developer owns 1 Uptown Circle where the Town of Normal agreed to rent an entire floor for close to $36,000 a month – or the building wouldn’t get build. This is the same building where luxury apartments are subsidizes by you. This is the same building with a still empty first floor because Koos gets to decide who the “right fit” is.
In a display of utter brilliance, Normal thought people would flock to an exclusive restaurant with no close parking. Koos also thought government would create prosperity, add this to his long FAIL list.
There are lots of reason to dislike what Normal does, giving money to Portilllos isn’t one of them. The Town did you use your tax money to pay off the loan early. I will never believe it was to save 8% interest, I believe the developer of 1 Uptown Circle was in serious trouble with an empty first floor and apartments that took a long time to rent.
The reason for this story is because I heard the Portillos myth repeated again this morning on the radio. Citizens need accurate information, Portillos is the biggest misinformation out there.
From the Secretary of State’s corporation search:
The entity that did the Portillos deal:
Now look up Tartan Reality Group – the guys who did 1 Uptown Circle.
Same guy is President. Tartan is in good standing.
The company contracted with for the Trail East building is Bush Development LLC:
Maybe they are incorporated in another state.