Stratford Square owners getting tax help from Bloomingdale to redevelop

  • To make room for a new Woodman's Food Market on its property in Bloomingdale, Stratford Square Mall is planning to tear down a former Macy's store and part of the mall beside it.

    To make room for a new Woodman's Food Market on its property in Bloomingdale, Stratford Square Mall is planning to tear down a former Macy's store and part of the mall beside it. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 7/10/2019 8:06 PM

The owners of Stratford Square Mall in Bloomingdale are requesting up to $2 million from a new tax increment financing district to pay for a project to demolish a former Macy's and make room for a new Woodman's Food Market.

Woodman's is planning to build a stand-alone grocery store on roughly 19 acres near the intersection of Schick Road and Gary Avenue. But before construction can start on the 243,000-square-foot building, a shuttered Macy's and part of the mall beside it must be torn down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Earlier this year, Stratford's owners -- FMC Stratford Mall Members LLC -- sought assistance from the village for the "extraordinary costs" associated with site preparation and demolition of portions of the mall.

Village trustees recently approved a redevelopment agreement that gives FMC Stratford the ability to seek reimbursement of up to $2 million. The reimbursement payments will come from a new TIF district that includes the mall and several adjacent commercial, office and vacant properties.

In a TIF district, property tax payments to local governments are frozen at the current level for up to 23 years. Any extra property tax money collected within the area after it is established goes into a special fund controlled by the village. The money in the fund then can be used to help pay for certain improvements, such as roads and other infrastructure.

Village Administrator Pietro Scalera said the Stratford TIF, the village's fifth such district, was created in March to help spur economic development at the mall, which has lost three anchor stores.

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He said a TIF district was successful in driving development along Lake Street.

"So the board felt confident that implementing a TIF at Stratford would help reinvigorate that area," Scalera said, "and provide a tool to the village and the mall ownership to promote development and attract new businesses to the mall."

As part of the redevelopment agreement, FMC Stratford will pay for the demolition and site improvement costs. It then must submit evidence of those costs to the village to get reimbursed.

Scalera said money for the reimbursement will come from the Stratford TIF fund.

Currently, there is no money in the fund. But Scalera said the fund will grow, especially after the Woodman's opens.

The massive 24-hour grocery store won't be attached to the mall. It will feature a 2,300-square-foot car wash and two gas stations -- one unattended facility and a fully staffed station with a convenience store and lube center.

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