Business, Local News

Homewood OKs incentives for Bergstein’s Deli relocation

Bergstein’s NY Deli & Sandwich Shop, which has been in Chicago Heights for about 15 years, is in the process of remodeling
the former Homewood Florist space on Martin Avenue. The owners plan to open in January. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Homewood trustees approved a package of incentives Nov. 14 that will help Bergstein’s NY Deli & Sandwich Shop complete its relocation from Chicago Heights to the former Homewood Florist location at 18064 Martin Ave. in Homewood.

The redevelopment agreement includes $150,000 in assistance from the village Business Incentive Program that co-owner Bill Davis of Homewood requested in order to make the project viable, according to a memo to the board from Angela Mesaros, village economic and community development director.
Bergstein’s plans to invest $332,501 in the project, Mesaros said.

The village incentives include:

  • Rebating the 2% Places for Eating Tax for up to $60,000 the first three years the restaurant is open.
  • Reimbursing 100% of the cost to install a grease trap at a cost not to exceed $25,000.
  • Reimbursing 50% of the cost to construct an Americans with Disabilities Act compliant bathroom, with the village’s share capped at $5,000.
  • Reimbursing 25% of the remaining renovation costs, with the village’s share not to exceed $60,000.

Mesaros said village staff considered a number of factors before recommending the incentive package to the board.

  • The total recommended financial incentive is approximately 46% of the total buildout costs (including the grease trap), which is less than the 50% maximum available.
  • Restaurants are a targeted business for Homewood. Bergstein’s NY Deli is a well-established restaurant in operation for 15 years owned and operated by a local family.
  • New businesses locating in Homewood face substantial costs to modernizing spaces and comply with current fire and building codes. The recommended funding will be used to make improvements to the building that will increase the long-term viability of the space and the downtown area.
  • Projected annual sales are approximately $1 million in the first year, with a 3% increase each year. Revenue to the Village of Homewood would be $30,000 annually after the Places for Eating Tax rebate expires.
  • While the build-out costs would be paid within 60 days after the restaurant opens, the Places for Eating Tax rebate is performance driven and would be paid out over a three-year period.
  • This restaurant will bring in additional foot traffic and add to the vitality of the downtown. The incentive amount is comparable to recent incentives offered to other new restaurants such as Empanadus and Maple Tree Inn.

The Davis family of Homewood launched the deli about 15 years ago at 200 Dixie Highway in Chicago Heights, just south of Vollmer Road.

In an interview with the Chronicle in April, Bill Davis said the new location would offer a bigger kitchen to help handle a growing catering business plus more foot traffic and an opportunity for outdoor seating.

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