McGrath Honda representatives made a good first impression with the concept plan they unveiled for an auto dealership at the former Pheasant Run site in St. Charles.
Gary McGrath, president and owner of McGrath Honda of St. Charles, and his attorney, Peter Bazos, appeared via Zoom at the St. Charles plan commission meeting Tuesday to give the city its first look at what's in store for the dealership's relocation from its current location on Main Street to the shuttered facility.
Aside from a few questions about landscaping, lighting and the size and look of the sign McGrath hopes to install along Route 64, the commissioners were pleased with what they saw and encouraged McGrath to move forward with the process for the property at the eastern gateway of St. Charles.
"If it's done correctly, it could be very attractive and very pleasant," Commissioner Laura Macklin-Purdy said.
McGrath plans to repurpose most of the Mega Center at the western end of a 12-acre parcel and put a new front on the structure to serve as a showroom and main building for the dealership. He hopes to add a second dealership on the eastern portion of the property and is under contract to purchase 8 more acres to the east from the DuPage Airport Authority that could eventually become a third dealership.
In September, the St. Charles City Council approved a $5,256,000 incentive paid over 15 years to help facilitate McGrath Honda's move from its facility at 1411 E. Main St. McGrath said Tuesday a larger footprint is desperately needed because of overcrowding at the current location.
"We are just buried at our current site," McGrath said. "Last month, we delivered 310 cars, which is very difficult to do out of 3½ acres. I do think with a project like this, we could approach 500 cars a month."
McGrath will present the concept plan to aldermen at Monday's St. Charles planning and development meeting. Based on the comments he receives, McGrath will present a more detailed plan at future meetings.
"You're accomplishing maxing out the site and you've tried to be sensitive to as many considerations as possible," Commissioner Jennifer Becker said. "I think the proof will be when you approach us for your first preliminary plan and we'll be able to flesh out some of the details."