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updated: 11/13/2013 7:22 AM

Arlington Heights eyes Hickory Kensington redevelopment

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Arlington Heights trustees moved one step closer to redeveloping the Hickory Kensington area.

By a unanimous voice vote Tuesday, a committee of the entire village board recommended moving ahead with a tax increment financing district plan for the area.

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Chicago-based financial services firm Kane, McKenna and Associates Inc., which has already done $10,000 worth of work on the project, would continue for the next phase, including drafting the redevelopment plan and beginning the public process, at a cost not to exceed $20,500.

Once the board approves, Village Manager Bill Dixon said, the next step will be to draft a redevelopment plan that details the objectives and outlines the cost. Public hearings will take place.

Robert Rychlicki, executive vice president of Kane, McKenna, gave a report indicating Hickory Kensington one of the older industrial areas of the village, qualifies for a TIF district as a conservation area.

Rychlicki said it meets the criteria based on, among other things, the age of the structures in the area, all of which are at least 35 years old. In addition, he cited the decline in value compared with properties in the rest of the village.

Some discussion revolved around why it would be a conservation area as opposed to a "blighted area."

Rychlicki said the basic threshold factors are the same.

"It's really a matter of magnitude," he said. "The area is on its way there. It could be blighted, but it's not there yet."

Trustee John Scaletta commended Deputy Director of Planning and Community Development Bill Enright for the village's savings of more than $2,000 by doing work in-house that otherwise would have been done by Rychlicki's firm.

Trustee Carol Blackwood asked whether some of the infrastructure work \would include burying utilities that aren't related to gas or water.

Enright said he would reach out to see if some of the ComEd lines could be buried. But he said it could be expensive and he wouldn't be surprised if it was more than $1 million in this specific area.

Enright said public improvements to sanitary and storm sewers, some of which are combined, would also be expensive.

The discussion also revealed that a portion of Recreation Park would be included in the TIF district. Dixon said the matter has been discussed with the park district.

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