An adult-use cannabis dispensary could open in Riverside sometime in 2022 if Riverside trustees approve an agreement at their meeting on Nov. 18 to sell a village-owned lot at 2710 Harlem Ave. to Dr. Milad Nourahmadi, who owns both the strip mall at 2720 Harlem Ave. and the property at 2704 Harlem Ave. on either side of the village’s parcel.
Nourahmadi has long been interested in acquiring the vacant village-owned parcel for parking for the strip mall, which houses his Shining Smiles dental practice and other businesses.
The village has been reluctant to sell absent a plan that would include a retail sales tax-producing business, but Nourahmadi now appears to have met that bar.
Nourahmadi’s new plan is to sell the property at 2704 Harlem Ave., which now houses a COVID-19 testing center, to Mint IL LLC, a Lyons-based cannabis corporation, which would like to remodel the existing building and operate a dispensary there.
The tentative closing date for that sale is Feb. 4, 2022, according to a memo to elected officials from Riverside Village Manager Jessica Frances. The key to that deal, it appears, is the village agreeing to sell the parcel at 2710 Harlem Ave. to Nourahmadi, who plans to use it for parking for both the strip mall to the south and the cannabis dispensary.
The village proposes to sell the land to Nourahmadi for $230,000, which is roughly the amount the village has expended to acquire, demolish and remediate the former dry cleaners site minus the amount the village has collected through a 1-percent business district sales tax it imposed on that stretch of Harlem Avenue in 2017.
Selling the 2710 Harlem Ave. property will also place it back on the property tax rolls, and the introduction of an adult-use cannabis dispensary will result in the village collecting the 1-percent state sales tax on all cannabis retail sales, plus the village’s 1-percent non-home rule sales tax, the 1-percent business district sales tax and the village’s 3-percent cannabis retailer occupation tax.
The non-home rule sales tax revenue goes to fund road improvement projects, while the business district sales tax must be used only for infrastructure or redevelopment incentives within the business district, which stretches from Berkeley Road to the alley south of the Citgo gas station.
The rest of the sales tax revenue can be used to fund general village operations.