Autobarn plans to bring a fourth car brand to its collection of Evanston dealerships and is seeking a sales-tax sharing deal with the city to pull it off.
The Economic Development Committee will review the proposal for the new Fiat dealership tonight, which calls for the city to rebate to Autobarn 80 percent of sales tax revenue it receives from the dealership over the next four years.
Autobarn owner Richard Fisher estimates the cost of setting up the new dealership at $2.05 million. The agreement, as proposed by city staff, would cap the money from the sales tax rebate at $520,000.
Fisher plans to locate the Fiat dealership in what’s now a used car showroom at 1034 Chicago Ave.
He says the new dealership, which would be moved from a current Fiat location in Highland Park, would add at least 17 jobs in Evanston.
Autobarn has been working over the past year to expand its service and storage operations to the former Shure headquarters at 222 Hartrey Ave. and free up more sales space for its dealerships on Chicago Avenue.
The City Council has approved a $2.5 million tax increment funding agreement for the project on Hartrey as well as supporting a resolution to qualify the site for a county property tax reduction program.
The council is scheduled to vote next month on a new four-year, 50/50 sales tax sharing agreement for Autobarn’s existing Mazda, Volkswagen and Nissan dealerships.