getting a nice HD dealership


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Ronald Shreffler Jr. plans to relocate his Harley-Davidson dealership from Manteno, but he is no longer completely sold on the idea of placing it in Bradley.

Land sought by Shreffler Land of Lincoln Harley-Davidson was awarded to a KIA dealership by the Bradley Village Board Monday night.

Village board members agreed to transfer the property near the Super 8 Motel and the IHOP restaurant from the village to auto dealer Tony Blake at no cost. He plans to sell KIAs exclusively at the site.

Shreffler had offered $1 for the property. Now, he says if the village wants him, then board members will have to provide tax increment financing for his project.

And, if Bradley balks, Shreffler will approach another village.

"I'd see what Bourbonnais would do," he said.

Shreffler expects his business to make more in sales tax revenue compared to KIA, which estimated its annual sales for the first year at $11 million.

"I put out some realistic numbers," he said. "We're going to surpass that $11 million."

Drainage issues may exist at the site where KIA will operate.

Shreffler had contacted Nugent Construction in Bourbonnais, seeking input on the proposed site, said Chad Nugent, a company supervisor.

Nugent characterized the KIA property as a "low lot," one that will need some type of drainage, either a detention pond, or an underground system, which could cost $500,000.

Shreffler had sought a building of 30,000 to 40,000 square feet at the KIA site, Nugent said. To accommodate such a place, an underground drainage system would be required because not enough space would be available for a detention pond.

However, KIA is planning for a 14,000-square-foot building, and Nugent said the smaller structure would allow for a pond to be excavated at the site.

Bradley village officials have not looked into drainage issues at the KIA location. Village Engineer Mike Gingerich said he had not investigated any potential drainage problems because no plans had been submitted for the site.

"Wait 'til they start looking at it," Shreffler said. "I've been working on this for six months."

Shreffler's next option is a parcel adjacent to the KIA dealership.

More than motorcycles

At the new location, Shreffler wants to have space for super-tuning motorcycles, as well as a small diner, serving hamburgers and barbecue sandwiches, a detailing shop, and a place for people to have patches sewn on their jackets and repairs made to their jeans.

Shreffler also hopes to have car and cycle shows at the location once or twice a month during the summer, possibly offering musical entertainment for the thousands of people expected to attend the events.

Commenting on moving out of Manteno, Shreffler said he wanted to expand his building to provide space for super-tuning of motorcycles, but his request never reached the village board.

His business, he said, is a significant sales tax generator in the village.

"Manteno's going to find out what they lost," Shreffler said.

Mayor Tim Nugent said Tuesday that he never saw any proposal or request from Shreffler.

"I'm not aware of his position," Nugent said.

"I don't like to see any business move out of town, but I haven't talked to him about any business decision."

"It's hard to approve something if you haven't seen any plan," he added.

The mayor noted that the present location is in a commercially zoned area but is near homes and a day-care center.

"There might not be the room needed to expand the business," Nugent said.

Shreffler's dealership, the mayor added, is one of the top 10 sales tax generators in the village.

With the Bradley location, Shreffler said his business, which employs about 20 now, would add another 10 to 15 people.

Harley history

Shreffler Land of Lincoln Harley-Davidson opened at its current location, 291 N. Cypress Drive, in 1998. The Shreffler family, which began selling Harley-Davidsons in 1975, previously had a smaller shop on Division Street in Manteno

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