Buffalo Grove considering new TIF district to spark growth in Lake-Cook corridor

Buffalo Grove's Lake-Cook Road corridor has been the subject of much discussion among residents, planners, developers, officials and local politicians, but all the talk has yet to translate into results for a thoroughfare bookended by two moribund shopping centers.

That picture could change dramatically with the creation of a Lake-Cook Road tax increment financing district, a move village officials hope will spur private investment in the corridor.

Tonight, the village board will consider an ordinance authorizing consultant SB Friedman to complete a final TIF feasibility study for the corridor, a 472-acre area bordered by Arlington Heights, McHenry, Old Checker and Lake-Cook roads.

The final report from Friedman, which played a significant role in the creation of Mount Prospect's Prospect and Main TIF district, is the necessary first step in the creation of the TIF district. Its results will determine whether the village meets state requirements.

A TIF district works by freezing the amount of property taxes local governments receive for 23 years. As taxes rise with development in the area, those increases are funneled to a village fund to pay for public improvements within the district.

School, park and library districts that would not directly benefit from that development often oppose TIF districts. But Village President Beverly Sussman said the village already has reached out to other local governments about the proposal.

“So far they have been positive about it,” she said.

One area of focus for TIF district funding would be Town Center, which is one of two struggling shopping centers on either end of the corridor. The other is Chase Plaza.

Sussman said that since she ran for elected office 11 years ago, the one constant complaint she has received has been about Town Center.

“If we can do something about the Town Center with the help of a TIF, then I think we have to think about it very seriously and consider all the advantages that would be there for having a TIF,” she said.

Trustee David Weidenfeld said tonight's discussions are preliminary.

“This is nowhere near anything that looks like 'And we're going to be voting in two weeks,'” he said.

The board meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. today at village hall, 50 Raupp Blvd.

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After years of study and planning for the future of the 472-acre Lake-Cook Road corridor, Buffalo Grove officials are taking steps toward creating a Tax Increment Financing district they believe could spark redevelopment. Courtesy of Village of Buffalo Grove
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