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updated: 7/22/2014 2:24 PM

Deal reached to save Town Center in Wheeling

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  • An artist's rendering of the $150 million Town Center planned for the site on Dundee Road that once held Wickes Furniture.

      An artist's rendering of the $150 million Town Center planned for the site on Dundee Road that once held Wickes Furniture.

 

An agreement announced Monday between Wheeling and four other governing bodies apparently will save the $150 million Town Center planned for the site that once held Wickes Furniture.

Wheeling has agreed to share property taxes with the governing bodies that opposed the village's setting up two new tax increment financing districts in locations similar to ones it closed.

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Wheeling officials always maintained their new TIF districts were legal but said the threat of a lawsuit would destroy plans for $150 million in development in the Town Center TIF district, centered around the former Wickes Furniture site that the village owns on Dundee Road. The village has also set up the Southeast TIF district near Chicago Executive Airport.

Village President Dean Argiris praised three legislators who helped mediate the agreement: Reps. David Harris, Elaine Nekritz and Carol Sente.

"It required compromise from all parties," said Argiris. "Growth benefits everybody, and we will move forward in the spirit of cooperation and good government."

The village board unanimously approved the agreement, and the four other boards are expected to formally agree at their next meetings, Argiris said. They are Northwest Suburban High School District 214, Wheeling Township Elementary District 21, Indian Trails Library District and Wheeling Park District.

The four hired an attorney and threatened a lawsuit, saying the village was illegally extending the life of the two TIF districts, which are limited to 23 years by state law. The extra taxes that new redevelopment creates within a TIF district are reserved for that area. However, the village can give TIF funds to other local governments.

The agreement says in 13 years Wheeling will give local governments 80 percent of the TIF money not needed for projects under the Town Center plan. In 18 years the payout will be 60 percent of TIF funds not needed in the Southeast TIF district, and 45 percent of all funds from the South TIF district will be distributed starting this year.

A separate provision requires the village to pay out the 80 percent from the Wickes property as soon as the $8.6 million owed the developer Urban R2 is paid. This is expected to be within 12 years, the agreement says. The village board also voted Monday to give up to $6.5 million from the Town Center TIF district to another project. Reva Development Partners will build luxury apartments on the north side of Dundee Road at 100-250 Northgate Parkway.

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