A state tax credit that is helping riverside restorations of historic properties in Aurora and Elgin now is set to last through 2021 after Gov. Bruce Rauner approved an extension Friday afternoon.
The River Edge Redevelopment Zone Historic Tax Credit program had been set to expire Dec. 31 after lawmakers last year granted it a one-year extension.
But Rauner, while visiting Aurora University on Friday, signed a bill sponsored by several suburban legislators to keep it going another four years.
Aurora officials said Mayor Richard Irvin had lobbied for the bill in Springfield and welcomed the signing of it as positive economic news for the city.
In the City of Lights, the tax credit has given $3 million toward a $20 million project to revamp the former St. Charles Hospital into senior housing. Officials might also use it to turn the Hotel Arthur and Stanley Furniture buildings into residential and commercial properties.
In Elgin, the program granted assistance to a $10.5 million project to turn Riverside Drive into an environmentally friendly promenade that opened in 2014 and is helping an ongoing $16.6 million plan to turn the Elgin Tower Building into apartments.
The state also has authorized River Edge Redevelopment Zones in East St. Louis, Peoria and Rockford.
The extension signed Friday makes developers eligible for a tax credit of 25 percent of the cost of redeveloping a historic structure inside one of the designated riverfront areas.