A storefront could be filled, but it wasn't easy as the City Council approved the drafting of a zoning change that would allow Goodwill to .
The new location would be in the Indian Trails shopping center on Ridgeland Avenue and 127th Street. Goodwill plans to use the space purely as a drop-off center where items can be donated. The donations will then be shipped off to other Goodwill retail locations where they will be sold.
The Council vote was split 4 to 4 and Mayor Robert Straz was forced to cast the deciding vote, an unusual occurrence.
The dissenters expressed concern with the fact that no sales tax will be generated.
"My concern is retail," said Ald. Dolores Kramarski.
The idea that other towns, like nearby Orland Park, would be receiving sales tax off items donated at the Palos Heights location was also a topic of discussion.
"I could understand why they want a collection spot in Palos Heights," said Ald. Jeff Key. "To turn around and sell it in another community that is right down the street from us and then they're getting the tax dollars doesn't seem to be right."
Those in favor of Goodwill opening argued that the space has long been vacant.
"The merchants that are in Indian Trails are all unanimously in favor of this because they believe it will bring increased foot traffic into the shopping center and benefit everyone that is a tenant there," Ald. Alan Fulkerson said.
The idea for a drop-off center comes from the fact that many communities, including Palos Heights, do not allow for large donation receptacles. The storefront serves as a more aesthetically pleasing alternative.
This will be the first location of its kind in Illinois and the second for Goodwill, said the nonprofit's representative Renee Bowerman.
The location would feature a counter where items are collected and a receipt is given. The donations would then be placed behind a wall while they wait to be picked up, Bowerman said.
Goodwill will sign a five-year lease for the 1,100 square foot space. Their normal retail locations are about 20,000 square feet and the small size of the Heights location would not allow for a sales component in the space, Bowerman said.
Tuesday's vote instructs the city attorney to draft the ordinance, and the final vote is likely to occur at the next meeting on April 17.
Would you like to see a Goodwill donation center move into that space?