Proposed TIF district to develop office building

Ina Yang, Reporter

Evanston held a public hearing Monday to discuss the proposed Chicago/Main tax increment finance district, following state statutes as part of the procedure to move forward with this project.

The process started when a newly established joint review board met Oct. 2 to review and consider this proposal. Consultants from Kane, McKenna and Associates, along with board staff, discussed the economic challenges that drove the need for the TIF district. The board then unanimously approved a non-binding, advisory recommendation to the Evanston City Council to adopt the plan of designating the Chicago/Main TIF district.

A main focus of this district is the redevelopment of a currently vacant parcel located at the southeast corner of Chicago Avenue and Main Street. The city has plans for the parcel to be converted into a mixed-use office building.

In a more general sense, the creation of this TIF district is intended to benefit both the city and residents. Designating a TIF district grants the city, as well as property owners, the power to redevelop and improve key lots of land. With the establishment of this TIF district, funds will be available to invest in fixing deteriorating infrastructure and enhancing the El and Metra rails and stations within the district. The proposed TIF budget is $25 million.

The next step in establishing the district is to introduce an ordinance to establish the district 14 to 90 days after the close of the public hearing. Action on the district is planned for the City Council meeting Nov. 26.

Ina Yang