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Homewood approves feasibility study aimed at downtown redevelopment

Homewood trustees approved two ordinances that will help bring the redevelopment plans for the central business district closer to reality. At the Jan. 24 village board meeting, the board members unanimously agreed to authorize a study of the feasibility of establishing a downtown transit oriented development tax increment financing (TIF) district. 

Homewood trustees approved two ordinances that will help bring the redevelopment plans for the central business district closer to reality.

At the Jan. 24 village board meeting, the board members unanimously agreed to authorize a study of the feasibility of establishing a downtown transit oriented development tax increment financing (TIF) district. The special district would help improve deteriorating physical conditions within the central business district and stimulate transit oriented development. 

SB Friedman will being conducting the study focusing on the first four tasks of the project. The board agreed to spend an estimated $26,000 for the work.

The four tasks outlined by SB Friedman include conducting a formal TIF eligibility study; preparing a redevelopment project area plan and project document; preparing required notices and mailing lists; and completing a public approval process.

After passing the feasibility study ordinance, the board passed a second ordinance establishing rules for a registry. Parties on the registry interested in receiving notices of the TIF district work may include taxing bodies, taxpayers,  property owners and residences within 750 feet of the proposed TIF boundary.

The proposed boundaries of the TIF district, as presented by SB Freidman, are: Dixie Highway on the east and south to Olive Road (which includes the former Savoia property) west to Park Avenue and north to Pine Road. The LaBanque Hotel, including the La Voute Bistro & Bar area, will not be part of the TIF District. 

According to a projected timeline, the Friedman group will take 60 to 90 days to complete the eligibility study and redevelopment plan area and project document, and 90 to 120 days to complete the public approval process. The timeline may be extended, if necessary, should there be delays in obtaining data or if conflicts arise in scheduling public approval process meetings. 

If a TIF district is created, a baseline equalized assessed valuation of property in the district will be established. After that, tax revenue generated by any increase in property values above the baseline will go into the TIF fund and can be used for redevelopment purposes.

In information provided to the board, Village Manager Jim Marino reviewed the history of the project.

“Since last fall, village staff has been working with Third Coast Development and SB Friedman Development Advisors to evaluate Third Coast’s plans to build a mixed-use transit oriented development in downtown,” he said.

Marino added that in November the village engaged SB Friedman to perform a study to determine if an area of downtown would be eligible for establishment of a TIF district.

“A TIF district would be necessary to make this project financially viable and the study must be formally authorized by ordinance,” he said.

As for the approved establishment of a registry for interested parties, Marino said that a public notice will be published announcing creation of the approved registry and explaining how an interested party can be added to the list. 

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