District 220 still has concerns about AT&T campus redevelopment
The next step in the redevelopment of the former AT&T campus in Hoffman Estates into a self-contained community of businesses and multifamily housing called "City Works" is set for Monday, when the village hosts a public hearing on a potential tax increment financing district for part of the site.
The public hearing, scheduled for 6:50 p.m. at village hall, 1900 Hassell Road, comes more than a month after a panel local governments took a 6-1 vote supporting TIF funding for the project.
Barrington Unit District 220 was the only taxing body to vote against the project's TIF eligibility. District officials say they still haven't received the detailed information that would allow them to back the proposal.
"We're not against this development," District 220 board President Brian Battle said. "There's a lot of parts to this development that I feel are beneficial."
But, he added, the school board's duty is to determine the impact of the proposed development on District 220 taxpayers, and the information available so far has not allowed that to happen.
"If we were to go (to the public hearing) on Monday, we would probably make a comment to that effect," Battle said. "Until we know what will actually be there, there's not much we can really comment on."
District 220 officials say they are pleased with project developer Somerset Development's decision to exclude the residential aspects of the project from its requested TIF district.
A TIF district works by freezing the amount of property taxes local governments receive from a development at current levels. Any additional tax revenues generated as property values rise go to a fund earmarked for public improvements within the district. The TIF district would expire after 23 years or when all improvements have been paid for, whichever comes first.
Somerset's plan calls for the redevelopment of the buildings on the 150-acre site into 1.2 million square feet of offices, 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and 80,000 square feet of conference space. The residential component would include about 375 apartments and 175 townhouses.
Hoffman Estates Village Manager Jim Norris said Somerset likely will sell the land for the residential buildings to another developer that would then build them. But the entire project would remain coordinated within the redevelopment plan still being negotiated, he said.
The village board can vote on a TIF district at its Jan. 21 meeting, whether or not a proposed redevelopment plan has been completed. But the board won't have to vote that night, Norris said.
Last August's rezoning of the site was contingent on Somerset completing its purchase of the property by mid-February. The pending redevelopment plan and TIF district are being treated as precursors to that sale.