The City of DeKalb has been notified by Olive Garden and Darden Restaurants of their intent to cancel the planned restaurant in DeKalb. The decision is based on national business conditions that have forced Darden to cancel more than half of their planned openings in 2013.
“Darden has told us that their 2013 plans for 36 new stores have been cut to 15 stores. The DeKalb store is one of those being cut,” City Manager Mark Biernacki said. “They made it clear that this decision to cancel the DeKalb project was based on overall economic conditions and not on any issues with the City or the location.”
Biernacki said that City staff is already diligently working with the real estate broker representing the property to seek out and attract another retailer to occupy this premiere Sycamore Road space. “We have been in communication with other developers and restaurant chains, and are encouraging those prospects to consider the Small’s Furniture location,” said Roger Hopkins, the City’s economic development consultant.
“The City wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to Northern Illinois University that has been fully cooperating with efforts to modify access and parking to accommodate redevelopment of the Small’s furniture property,” Mayor Kris Povlsen said. “Those efforts are likely to be a key element in attracting another business to the site.”
Several economic forces including the increase in social security taxes, the costs of national healthcare, and reduced government spending are making consumers more budget conscious. The company is focusing on upgrading its existing restaurants. They were also unwilling to shift a different restaurant concept to this DeKalb site.