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Homewood officials believe the 175th Street business corridor needs an economic boost, and they hope recreating an incentive program will provide the means to improve economic activity in that area.
 

175th Street looking west 
from near Garden Lane. 

(Photo by Eric Crump/HF
Chronicle)

Village trustees approved an ordinance Tuesday that continues the process of creating a new tax increment financing (TIF) district to replace one that was created in 2011 in the same area. 

The village will convene a meeting June 4 of a joint review board consisting of representatives of affected taxing agencies, including any school, library, park or other districts that can levy taxes in the district.

The village will hold a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. July 14 to entertain questions and comments from residents.

The area has not bounced back from the recent recession as well as other parts of town.

In August 2014, the board voted to terminate the 175th Street TIF district because the equalized assessed value (EAV) had dropped about 35 percent from when its baseline was established in 2011. Without increasing property values, no funds are generated for redevelopment projects to use.

At the same meeting in August, the board approved a contract with Kane, McKenna and Associates to develop a new TIF district and redevelopment plan for the area.

TIF is a method of financing economic revitalization in blighted areas or areas at risk of blight, according to information on the Cook County website. After a baseline EAV of property in the district is established, any increase in property values will generate tax revenues above the baseline, and that additional revenue goes into the TIF redevelopment fund. 

Money from that fund can be used for projects that improve public infrastructure, help create private developments or help create jobs.

The new district, the Northeast TIF District, will include 30 to 35 acres along 175th Street from about Loomis Avenue to just east of Halsted, according to the redevelopment plan. Most of the properties are on the south side of 175th Street, but the boundary includes a portion on the north side between 174th and 175th streets.

There are 37 tax parcels in the district, 28 are occupied and nine are vacant, according to the redevelopment plan.

According to the plan created by Kane, McKenna and Associates, the area is beset by a number of problems that are impeding economic vitality, including underutilization of properties, excessive vacancies, lack of coordinated planning and inadequate utilities.

“Without an implementation plan for redevelopment, village officials believe current conditions will worsen,” the report states. “The area as a whole is categorized by uses that were developed individually and in piece-meal fashion with no coordinated parking, pedestrian flow or any unified features (signage, streetscape, etc.).”

The purpose of the TIF district plan is to give the village more influence on how the area is redeveloped.

“The village does not anticipate that area as a whole would be developed in a coordinated manner without the adoption of the tif redevelopment plan,” according to the report. 

The plan calls for the village to employe several strategies, including enhancing the area’s  appearance, make infrastructure improvements that supports development and promote complementary developments. 

The report estimates that the EAV of the district could increase from its current $8.2 million to as much as $35 to $45 million during the 23-year life of the district, “depending on market conditions and the scope of redevelopment projects.”


Contact Eric Crump at [email protected]


Related story:
Trustees give lukewarm reception to amusement tax reduction proposal (HF Chronicle, Aug. 26, 2014)


More information:
Homewood business incentive programs
Homewood economic development

 

A map of the proposed boundaries of the new Northeast 
TIF district.
 Click on the map to see a larger version.
(Provided image)

 

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