District 300 concerned about tax incentives for development at routes 59, 72

Community Unit District 300 Superintendent Fred Heid says he is concerned about Hoffman Estates establishing a special taxing district without properly consulting with the affected taxing bodies.

Village officials are reviewing a 184-acre residential and retail development at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72, as well as a proposed tax increment financing district - used as a tool to spur economic development.

The TIF joint review board is set to meet 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, and a public hearing for the proposed development is scheduled for 6:50 p.m. April 3, both at Hoffman Estates village hall, 1900 Hassell Road.

Heid said he and his counterpart at Barrington Unit District 220 are seeking more time to review the proposed TIF district and its potential impact.

"We received notice of this TIF hearing just a few days ago," Heid said. "There was no advance notice. We have a good history of working collaboratively with villages. We were just caught off-guard because there was a lack of communication on the front end."

District 300 already is affected by special taxing districts in Algonquin, Carpentersville, East Dundee, Gilberts, Hampshire, Hoffman Estates, Huntley, Pingree Grove and West Dundee that siphon more than $12 million in property taxes away from schools, and others are being considered by East Dundee and West Dundee, Heid said.

The developer, 5a7 LLC, is asking Hoffman Estates to grant the TIF district as a mechanism to provide about $21 million in property tax reimbursements over 23 years to overcome financial challenges with getting the site ready for construction.

Plans include constructing owner-occupied single-family homes, townhouses and coach houses on 144 acres, and seven luxury apartment buildings totaling 240 units plus 13 rental row house or townhouse units on an additional 11 acres. A 24-acre commercial area at the corner of routes 59 and 72 would include a 125,000- to 195,000-square-foot retail center and some small office buildings, per the proposal.

"We don't have a school in that area," Heid said. "We'd have to look at how many new families and students are projected to come in there."

Heid said officials need time to study whether the district's existing schools have enough space to absorb the growth or if there is a need to build a new school.

"The speed at which it was moving, the lack of conversation with us ... you really want it to be a collaboration and a discussion so that you receive some support for this, especially because there is a long-term impact to taxing bodies," Heid said.

Other governments that would lose property tax money in the proposed TIF district are Harper College, Elgin Community College, the Hoffman Estates Park District, Barrington Hills Park District and Barrington Area Public Library District.

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