Sugar Grove considers TIF district for Crown property at I-88 and 47

The village of Sugar Grove is considering making the property at Interstate 88 and Route 47, which is owned by Crown Community Development, into a tax increment finance district to spur development.

The village approved a resolution on April 18 to authorize an agreement with Moran Economic Development for professional services concerning the development of a TIF district for the property at I-88 and Rt. 47 that's owned by Crown Community Development, also known as Sugar Grove, LLC.

A tax increment financing district — or TIF — is a development tool used by local governments to encourage development or redevelopment in blighted areas that would be too expensive to improve with private dollars alone.

The cost of the study shall not exceed $22,500, and the only action during the board meeting was the approval of the agreement to begin work on the plan.

Since the property at the interchange does not have the infrastructure needed to develop the land, a TIF is required, according to village President Jen Konen.

“The cost to extend the necessary infrastructure to the site is in the tens of millions of dollars to complete between sanitary sewer, water service, water towers, site development, etc.,” Konen said. “Without TIF assistance, the land would not be able to be developed.”

Creating a TIF does not commit Sugar Grove to any redevelopment agreement with the land owner or any land owner. The TIF process and redevelopment agreement are separate items that must go through their own process. In addition, to create a TIF, the land must also be annexed into the village, for without such the TIF cannot be created, according to Konen.

Crown owns 760 acres at the location. In February, Crown shared a conceptual land plan at the property for The Grove, a master-planned community aiming to bring a town center, residential housing for all ages, retail and services, parks and green space to Sugar Grove.

The new proposal came several years after a previous plan called for a rezoning request from residential to multiuse, which could include warehouse and commercial development. The company withdrew its rezoning request in early 2019, citing widespread community opposition to the project.

“Crown is still required to formally submit an application for annexation into the village,” Konen said. “A TIF cannot be created without the property being annexed into the corporate boundaries of Sugar Grove.”

Konen said public hearings have not been scheduled at this time. “The village board will pass a resolution in the future setting the public hearing dates for the TIF,” she said. “The public hearing for the other processes have not been determined either, as the village does not have a formal application to start the process.”

According to a previous news release from Crown, the new proposal for The Grove features multiple neighborhoods with single-family homes, apartments, 200 acres of open space and areas for retail, restaurants, health care and e-commerce distribution or a data center.

“After careful planning and listening to the residents of Sugar Grove, Crown Community Development is excited to share our new proposal for The Grove, which is very different from the plan submitted in 2019,” Teri Frankiewicz, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Crown Community Development, said in the release. “We are starting with a fresh slate and will begin community engagement meetings this spring. We're looking forward to hearing from residents as we come together to create a thoughtful development where people are eager to live, work and gather, putting Sugar Grove on the path for smart, future growth.”

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