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City considers two new TIF districts

Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to vote on hiring a consultant to evaluate the merits of creating two new tax increment financing districts in the city.

One district under consideration would include the Evanston Plaza Shopping Center at Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue. The center, which has suffered from high vacancy rates for years, is currently bank-owned, with the bank seeking buyers for the property.

The other district would included a so-far-unspecified area in the Main Street and Chicago Avenue shopping district. The southeast corner of Main and Chicago currently is being proposed for a retail and office development on the vacant lot that was to have been the site of a condominium project that failed to get off the ground after the condo market collapsed.

The aldermen are scheduled to approve an $80,000 contract with Kane McKenna and Associates of Chicago for the consulting work. The firm was one of six that responded to a request for proposals for the project.

In a memo to aldermen, Community and Economic Development Director Steve Griffin says the city is encouraging new economic development projects in the two areas and that, but for TIF or other incentives incentives, the new developments might not be able to be completed.

The consultant's contract will also involve reviewing the performance of the city's five existing tax increment financing districts.

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