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Article updated: 11/19/2012 10:55 PM

Lake Zurich to give developer $12,000 to upgrade water pipe

This building at 20 E. Main St. in downtown Lake Zurich has long been vacant, but a developer is working to make it suitable for commercial use in a special taxing zone.

This building at 20 E. Main St. in downtown Lake Zurich has long been vacant, but a developer is working to make it suitable for commercial use in a special taxing zone.

 

Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

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Lake Zurich village board members Monday evening agreed that $12,000 should be provided to help defray a developer's expense to upgrade a water line for a building under renovation for commercial use downtown.

Peter J. Panagakis is rehabilitating the long-empty former B & L Liquor Store at 20 E. Main St. Panagakis told village officials that his PDP Properties already has invested $80,000 in the project and plans to spend another $60,000, including work on the water pipe.

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Village trustees voted 5-1 in favor of a redevelopment agreement giving the $12,000 to Panagakis because officials said his building needs a new 2-inch water line to connect to Lake Zurich's supply. Officials said the total cost is projected at $24,000 for the upgrade from an undersized, three-quarter-inch line that no longer meets village code.

Panagakis' structure is in part of a special taxing district designed to spur redevelopment in downtown Lake Zurich. However, downtown redevelopment ideas have been stalled since the tax breaks for the area were created in 2002.

Lake Zurich officials said the $12,000 for the water line upgrade will come from a pool of money set aside to help offset downtown redevelopment project costs in what's officially called a tax increment financing district, where property tax revenue above a certain point goes into development rather than local governments.

Trustees agreed the redevelopment agreement with Panagakis establishes precedent for similar, future requests. However, Trustees Tom Poynton and Rich Sustich said it is how TIF money is supposed to work.

"TIF money is supposed to do this," Sustich said. "TIF money is supposed to help take distressed properties and bring them up to code and give them life again."

Trustee Dana Rzeknik was the lone vote against the agreement, saying it'll take a long time to recoup the $12,000 investment.

Another sign of potential life in Lake Zurich's special taxing zone downtown surfaced last month when John Breugelmans, who heads Lakeland Asset Management Group, presented concept plans for a 130-room hotel at Route 22 and Old Rand Road.

Breugelmans estimated the project would cost $20 million. He said the hotel would rise seven stories and offer banquet and conference space.

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