Starbucks coming to Rochelle

Coffee shop construction has started next to Walgreens

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ROCHELLE — Rochelle city officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday and announced that Starbucks will be building and opening a location in town on Illinois Route 251 next to Walgreen’s. 

The location will feature a 2,000 square foot store with indoor and outdoor seating and a drive-thru. It is planned to open in spring 2022. It will employ about 25-30 people and it has created 75-80 construction jobs. The city first began speaking with Starbucks in January, City Community Development Director Michelle Pease said. 

"This is quite an exciting announcement,” Mayor John Bearrows said. “Starbucks is a major nationwide chain. Many months ago when we started talking about this, I spoke with Michelle and we talked about what could happen. I thought if we could land a Starbucks, that could be amazing in Rochelle. And now we know it's not only in Rochelle, but it's the only one in Ogle County.”

City staff regularly reach out to national corporations that could fit the demographics in Rochelle and have been working with Location Finders International, a suburban Chicago commercial real estate firm, since early 2021. 

City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh said he’s excited to add to that specific area in town. 

“The REC Center, Starbucks and future Hickory Grove redevelopment are three projects in this area that add to the quality of life in our community,” Fiegenschuh said. 

Fiegenschuh believes the addition shows that Rochelle has the buying power to support a national brand like Starbucks. There were no development dollars spent by the city to attract Starbucks to Rochelle, Fiegenschuh said. 

“They didn't ask for any either,” Fiegenschuh said. “They are in the enterprise zone like the rest of the town. They will get a 50 percent tax abatement over six years and a sales tax rebate on construction materials. But anybody who builds in the enterprise zone qualifies for that. Otherwise there were no city dollars or any incentives to entice them here."

Pease thanked the city council and staff for their work on bringing Starbucks to town. The project was under wraps in recent months and was codenamed “Project Siren” in an ode to the coffee company’s logo. City administrators were bound by nondisclosure agreements. 

“It's been so hard to keep this amazing development confidential from our friends and neighbors,” Pease said. “We're so grateful Starbucks decided to pick Rochelle. Thank you Starbucks for investing in Rochelle and seeing the opportunities in our community. Welcome to Rochelle.”