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updated: 8/28/2013 8:34 AM

Rolling Meadows ends short-lived TIF district

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The Rolling Meadows City Council Tuesday terminated a tax increment financing district established less than five years ago that included a once-controversial apartment complex called Woodfield Garden.

The district south of Algonquin Road, west of Route 53, north of the Jane Addams toll road (I-90) and east of Arbor Drive has a negative balance of $130,219 that could increase to minus-$221,572 by the end of the year. The city will have to pay off the deficit from the general fund.

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The deficit occurred because when property owners get their assessments lowered, the city is required to repay the taxes collected in a TIF district, said Melissa Gallagher, city finance director. And TIF districts also have administrative fees. Under state law, the TIF district would have been terminated after seven years because it has no redevelopment, but financial prudence prompted the earlier end, Gallagher said.

The city established the TIF district because a partnership under Pine Tree Commercial Realty put forth massive redevelopment plans for the area in 2007. However, the economic downturn meant these never came to fruition.

The TIF district was just east of the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center, said Barry Krumstok, Rolling Meadows city manager.

The city has created three TIF districts. The first one, established in 1988 to help redevelop the shopping center on Kirchoff Road that once housed a Dominick's, expired last year. The city gave the last $720,000 of money in the TIF district account to Clark Street Street Development, which plans to redevelop the property vacant since Dominick's closed in 2004.

That leaves only the TIF district established in 2002 at Kirchoff and Owl Lane across from city hall. Three of four planned condominium buildings were built there in 2005, and the city still owns the vacant parcel. While that TIF district also has a negative balance approaching $1 million, it will eventually be in positive territory after the bonds issued for the development are paid off in 2018, said Gallagher.

The council had a tempestuous relationship with Michael Sparks, who owned the Woodfield Garden apartment complex that later was called 12 Oaks at Woodfield. He sold it late in 2010 after owning it about six years. One of Sparks' lawsuits against the city came after police blocked for a short time all but one entrance to the complex.

The city received many complaints when Sparks flew 12 Mexican flags on the property in what he said was a marketing ploy to draw Hispanic tenants. Sparks said it was proper to fly the foreign flags on 30-foot poles because each was side by side with an American flag.

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