Plans to create a tax increment financing district for parts of Evanston’s Chicago Avenue and Main Street business district drew no complaints at Wednesday night’s Economic Development Committee meeting.
The proposed district would include the vacant lot on the sourtheast corner of the intersection, the CTA and Metra stations and commercial parcels on the south side of Main in the block west of the tracks.
The vacant lot several years ago was proposed as the site for a condominium development that never got off he ground, and more recently has been promoted as the site for a mixed-use retail-office developent that so far has failed to attract sufficient leasing commitments to start construction.
Top: A map of the proposed TIF district. Above: A rendering of the now-stalled proposed office building.
The city’s TIF consultants, Kane, McKenna and Assoicates have concluded that the designated area does qualify as a conservation area under the state TIF statute.
That’s defined as an area “that exhibits risks of becoming blighted.”
A city economic development planner, Johanna Nyden, said the district wasn’t expanded include the north side of Main west of the tracks or other parcels because staff feared the larger area might not qualify for the TIF designation.
The proposal now goes to the City Council for review at its June 11 meeting.
If the project stays on track it would then be approved by the Joint Review Board, composed of local taxing districts, on July 10, return to the City Council for introduction Aug. 13, with final approval scheduled for Sept. 10.
Under the TIF program the city is allowed to capture all of the increase in property tax revenue from the targeted area during the district’s 23-year life and use it to fund projects designed to spur additional development in the district.