'A boatload of opportunities': Mount Prospect has high hopes for south side growth

  • An aerial view shows CloudHQ's $2.5 billion plan to redevelop the former United Airlines headquarters, located within the new South Mount Prospect TIF district.

    An aerial view shows CloudHQ's $2.5 billion plan to redevelop the former United Airlines headquarters, located within the new South Mount Prospect TIF district. Courtesy of Mount Prospect

 
Updated 5/4/2022 6:13 PM

Reflecting back on what downtown Mount Prospect looked like 30 or 40 years ago, Mayor Paul Hoefert notes that "it didn't look like it looks today."

The influx of new restaurants, luxury apartments and other development downtown likely would not have occurred if not for the creation of a tax increment financing district for the village center, he said.

 

Now Hoefert and others are pinning hopes for similar growth on the village's south side on a new TIF district approved by the village board Tuesday.

"There's just a boatload of opportunities in south Mount Prospect," Hoefert said.

That includes CloudHQ's plans for a $2.5 billion redevelopment of the former United Airlines headquarters as a massive data center complex. The project is expected to benefit from public improvements funded by TIF dollars.

"Why TIF? Quite frankly, it's probably the most impactful economic development tool that the village has to invest in an area," Community Development Director Bill Cooney said.

In a TIF district, property taxes distributed to local governments like the village and school districts are frozen at their current levels for 26 years. Any additional tax revenue generated through development of the area is placed in a village-controlled fund to pay for improvements within the district.

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TIF funds can be invested in public infrastructure, including roads, water mains, stormwater improvements, pedestrian/bike paths and more. It also can provide funds for environmental remediation in the area.

The South Mount Prospect TIF district is roughly bounded by Dempster Street on the north, Busse Road on the west, Route 83 on the east and Oakton Street on the south. The 505-acre area consists primarily of commercial and industrial properties, although are five residential lots.

Work in the TIF dates back to 2016, when the village annexed several commercial and industrial properties in the area, including the former United campus. The village adopted the South Mount Prospect Plan in 2020, which recommended creation of a TIF.

An important part of the process was a public hearing, which enabled Hoefert to assure owners of the five single-family properties that, as he reiterated Tuesday, "We have no vision of anybody being forced out of their homes."

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