Some Bloomingdale trustees weary of Springbrook proposal
Bloomingdale officials on Monday learned they will soon vote on a redevelopment request for the Springbrook Shopping Center on Lake Street and Circle Avenue.
The area is currently still part of a tax increment financing district, which was created in 1999 after the center began experiencing a mass exodus of retailers in the late 1990s, including the departure of anchor Dominick's grocery store.
The TIF has frozen property values to help the owner pay for improvements, and though some storefronts have been filled, key sites remain vacant.
Today, Springbrook is anchored by the popular Caputo's Fresh Market and houses businesses like Hallmark, Papa John's Pizza, Pivot Point cosmetology school, a dance studio and more. But large sites like the former Ace Hardware, a former bank and others still sit empty toward the west end of the site that was once Bloomingdale's premier shopping center.
Now the Springbrook owner wants the redevelopment agreement extended within the life of the TIF, officials said. In exchange, work would be done to improve the strip mall, they added.
On June 25, Bloomingdale trustees will hear a proposal for possible work to be done within Springbrook. Village Administrator Martin Bourke said that would include parking lot improvements, curb and gutter work, lighting upgrades and some facade improvements. The proposal will also outline an expansion of Caputo's and possible expansions of other retailers.
But trustees expressed some skepticism Monday.
"We have already helped," Trustee James Gebbis said. "The current owner has let this property go, after we have substantially invested."
Trustee Bill Bolin added that "there better be hard numbers" in the June 25 proposal. But while Village President Bob Iden and Trustee Robert Czernek said they empathized with their fellow trustees, they urged keeping an open mind.
"We have to hear what is he asking for, what is the potential," Iden said.
Because trustees will not review proposal documents until Friday, Bourke said he could not discuss costs of the work or specific details of the plans. It will be several weeks, perhaps more, before trustees vote on whether to approve the redevelopment request. After hearing the presentation on June 25, the issue will likely be discussed one or more future meetings before coming up for a vote.
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