Evanston’s City Council will hold a public hearing tonight on plans for a new tax increment financing district in the 5th Ward that identifies five areas as potential redevelopment sites.

One of those areas is the stretch of parcels on the west side of Green Bay Road from the car wash south of Foster Street to the homes just south of the former path of railroad tracks that connected the old Mayfair line to the main Union Pacific tracks east of Green Bay Road.

Areas with diagonal lines on this map included in the TIF proposal are seen by city staff as potential development sites.

Another site is the parking lot on the northeast corner of Ridge Avenue and Clark Street.

The future land use map contained in the TIF proposal suggests both of those sites could be redeveloped for some combination of commercial, residential or mixed uses.

The three other parcels proposed for redevelopment are the Civic Center at 2100 Ridge Ave., the Northwestern University property on the southwest corner of Ridge Avenue and Leon Place, and the Family Focus building at 2010 Dewey Ave.

The Northwestern University properties at 2020 Ridge Ave. (Google Maps)

Those sites are listed for potential institutional, mixed or residential uses.

The proposed new Five Fifths TIF district is irregular in shape, including a carve out for an existing TIF running along the former Mayfair railroad tracks, but generally runs through portions of the 5th Ward on either side of Green Bay Road.

Some property owners in the area have voiced fears that the TIF would lead to their land being taken by the city by eminent domain, but city officials have said that while the state TIF statute would allow such action, the city has no intention of using that power.

The Joint Review Board, composed of the taxing bodies that would be impacted by adoption of the TIF district, has already approved the proposed new TIF district.

A tax increment financing district allows the municipality to capture any increase in property tax revenue in a designated area for a period of 23 years and use those funds to help spur further development in the area.

The City Council is not scheduled to act on the TIF proposal until a future meeting.

Documents related to the TIF proposal are contained in the City Council packet.

Related stories

5th Ward TIF district plan up for preliminary vote (2/7/21)

New TIF district proposed for 5th Ward (10/29/20)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.