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For many years the northwest corner of Rts. 34 and 47 was home to the Countryside Shopping Center, until a developer decided he could do something better and bulldozed it all down. But that “something better”


never happened. Instead, like other communities, Yorkville suffered through the Great Recession. Development died off.


“I went past it every day,”


remembers Yorkville developer Jim Ratos, who has lived in the adjacent Countryside subdivision for 41 years. “You had the empty lots there with weeds and big chucks of concrete.” In 2010 Ratos and a group of


KENDALL CROSSING


Patrons enjoy entrees and coffee in front of a fireplace at the new Grace Coffee and Wine restaurant.


Photo by Paul E. Burd Photography


partners bought the vacant land, calling it Kendall Crossing, with a vision of creating a lifestyle center.


“Te tax increment financing (tif) was


instrumental in our being able to do this project,” Ratos says. “If it wasn’t for the tif, I don’t think it would be developed right now. It sat for a while, but then we got the movie theater. One of my partners, Jason Pesola, was instrumental in bringing the theater in. Once you get an anchor tenant like that, the others will come.” Te NCG Cinema located on the south


border of the property; it was followed soon by a daycare center on the western border, a row of offices that house Edward Hospital Urgent Care on the north border, and last year a row of office and storefronts on the northeast border.


In 2019 a 5,000-square-foot restaurant, Grace Coffee


and Wine, opened in Kendall Crossing, adjacent to the new Holiday Inn Express and Kendall Banquet and Events Center. Te new restaurant, owned by Jim’s son Jimmy, by April was already a big success, attracting a large clientele. Two other businesses, a Mexican restaurant called El Jefe and the Flight Tasting Room and Bottle Shoppe, are scheduled to open around June and the hotel is aiming at November. “I think we will be totally done developing this


property by the end of the year,” Ratos says. “One more lot is available behind the funeral home. A national franchise is looking at it. We may get one or two more restaurants in here, maybe a pizza place in front of the daycare center.” Ratos says he and his partners just want Kendall


Crossing to be a place where people can come, a lifestyle place to have a good meal or watch a movie. “I am pretty happy with the way it’s turning out.”


12


Economic Development


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