Evanston aldermen tonight are set to give the final OK to a tax increment financing district with a $20 million budget and move another budgeted at the same amount along the approval path.

The Evanston Plaza shopping center.

The final approval is scheduled for the Dempster-Dodge TIF, which has the same boundaries as the half-vacant Evanston Plaza shopping center. That plan won backing from aldermen on a 6-2 vote to introduce the proposal two weeks ago.

The newer proposal is for a TIF covering parts of the Chicago-Main shopping district. It would include the vacant parcel on the southeast corner of that intersection, the railroad property to the west of the intersection, and the block of storefronts on the south side of Main Street from Custer to Sherman avenues.

Top: Lupita’s restaurant and other shops on the south side of Main from Sherman to Custer would be included in the proposed Chicago-Main TIF. Above: The main focus of that TIF is the vacant lot on the southeast corner of the Chicago-Main intersection.

The city’s tax district consultant, Kane McKenna, prepared estimated budgets for the two districts.

  Dempster-Dodge Chicago-Main
Land acquisition $500,000 $1,000,000
Site preparation $4,000,000 $3,000,000
Utility improvements $3,000,000 $3,000,000
Structure rehab $4,750,000 $5,000,000
Public facilities $4,000,000 $4,000,000
Interest costs $1,250,000 $2,000,000
Professional services $1,250,000 $1,000,000
Job Training $1,000,000 $500,000
School payments $250,000 $500,000
Total $20,000,000 $20,000,000

The TIF projects are intended to be paid for from additional tax revenue generated by new development in the tax districts. Projects can also be financed by money borrowed against anticipated future increases in tax revenue.

The Main Street Metra station, home of the Piccolo Theatre, would be included in the TIF district.

The city has been working with a developer to find tenants for a planned office and retail development on the vacant Chicago-Main parcel, but so far the project has failed to gain enough tenant commitments to win construction financing.

Related stories

Aldermen back Evanston Plaza TIF on 6-2 vote

Doubts raised on Evanston Plaza tax district

Evanston’s Chicago-Main tax district plan advances

Plans for two new tax districts move forward

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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