Bloomingdale residents can weigh in on Stratford Square Mall taxing district at public meeting Monday
Bloomingdale officials are ready to discuss the future of the Stratford Square Mall and will let members of the public have their say on Monday.
Residents can comment during the 10 a.m. meeting in which local taxing bodies will discuss the proposed tax increment financing, or TIF, district for the area surrounding the struggling mall. After this meeting, the TIF proposal will go before the village board for consideration and approval at a later date.
A TIF district freezes property taxes collected and disbursed to local governments. Any incremental taxes collected, stemming from new development or improvements to properties within the district's boundaries, are set aside into a separate municipal fund to pay for public improvements within the TIF district.
"This economic tool will be critical to have to ensure the village can move forward with the Stratford Vision Plan being developed by Teska Associates, which the board will be reviewing in the coming months," Village Administrator Peter Scalera said.
Last May, the village hired Evanston-based Teska Associates Inc. to develop ideas for revitalizing the property after realizing that the mall was not going to survive in its current state.
Teska will work with Bloomingdale's plan commission to identify redevelopment ideas for the mall. A website also will be created to provide information and help with messaging.
The company's presentation laid out several issues the mall has been having, particularly with vacancies. Teska reported the mall's vacancy rate was at 69% in 2021.
The decline began when its anchor stores -- Carson Pirie Scott, Macy's, JCPenney and Sears -- began to close their doors. Only 40 stores remain in the mall compared to 110 in 2019.
The mall's revitalization has generated widespread comments from community members. More than 70 people gave their feedback at a public hearing discussing the future of the mall last year.