Zoning change sought for new Taco Bell in Rantoul

Pending village approval, a new Taco Bell restaurant would be built on the grounds of the now-closed J&D Auto-Truck Sales Inc. in Rantoul.

RANTOUL — Pending village approval, a new Taco Bell restaurant will be built in Rantoul.

Nick Kallergis, owner of the Taco Bell restaurant that closed in Rantoul several months ago, said he plans to build the new restaurant not far from the old one.

The eatery would be located at the former site of J&D Auto-Truck Sales Inc., just east of the McDonald’s restaurant.

Kallergis, owner of Chicago-based Buddybells Inc., said his company opted to build new rather than remodel the former restaurant location

“We were a franchisee at the other store,” Kallergis said. “We lost our lease.”

Kallergis said Taco Bell gave them an option of upgrading the other building or building a new restaurant. They opted for the latter.

The company owns 21 Taco Bells in Illinois, including several in Champaign-Urbana.

Kallergis said the restaurant would be a Taco Bell only. There are no plans to also include a Kentucky Fried Chicken as it had done in the past before KFC left.

He said the parent company “would rather not have the multi-branding anymore.”

Chris Milliken, village of Rantoul urban planner, said despite the property having held a used-vehicle dealership, it is zoned residential. Buddybells is seeking rezoning to C-2 (commercial).

Milliken said the planning and zoning commission is likely to hear the rezoning request in November. It would also require village board approval.

Joe and Donna Hobbs own the property.

Pending approval, Kallergis said construction would begin early next year.

Milliken said a site plan has been prepared by MRV Architects of Rolling Meadows.

He said the village’s plans to build a sports complex south of Walmart was not a factor in the company’s plans to build the new Taco Bell. It had approached the village about the new restaurant in July, Milliken said.

dhinton@rantoulpress.com