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updated: 10/15/2013 4:02 PM

Glen Ellyn approves new tax district for Roosevelt Road

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Glen Ellyn's village board unanimously approved plans aimed at increasing economic development along the Roosevelt Road corridor -- with boundaries excluding the much-debated Parkside Apartments.

In establishing the tax increment financing district, Glen Ellyn officials hope to stimulate retail, mixed-use and commercial growth in hopes of increasing the local tax base and generating additional sales tax revenue.

Under the TIF process, the assessed value of property is frozen for as many as 23 years, with extra property tax money collected within the area going into a special fund controlled by the village.

The increase in taxes created by the improved or redeveloped properties could be used to pay for public infrastructure projects or incentives for developers to build larger-scale projects.

"The rationale for doing this is to use probably the best, and most utilized economic development tool to proactively address some needs, some investment both public and private in a very important commercial corridor," Village Manager Mark Franz said.

The village has worked toward designation of the TIF since February, in light of the increasing number of business vacancies and lack of private development in the area. The district, which runs along Roosevelt between Route 53 and Main Street, was unanimously approved by a joint review board earlier this year.

The plan came under fire from residents of the Parkside Apartments, some 200 of whom attended an informal meeting in June to express concern their buildings would be included in the district and that redevelopment potentially could result in their displacement.

After hearing from concerned residents and supporters from area organizations including World Relief DuPage/Aurora, which provide services to many of the refugees who live at Parkside, officials announced in late July they would modify the boundaries to exclude the Parkside and Park Plaza apartments.

Homeowners who live close to the apartments told the village board at a hearing in September they wanted the apartments back in the district to help develop the area that one Realtor characterized as a "slum" and a "war zone."

Officials have left open the possibility that the TIF boundaries could be expanded to include the apartments at a later date, but the village's consultant said that would be at least a four-month process.

The TIF redevelopment plan estimates project costs at a total of $50 million.

"It's been a tremendous effort and a lot of work," Village President Alex Demos said. "Now we need to put it to work in the most equitable, appropriate and expedited manner."

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