Village attorney: Northbrook not on the hook for incentives until mall construction is 'substantially complete'
Not on the hook
Responding to a report by Crain's Chicago Business concerning the redevelopment of Northbrook Court, village attorney Steve Elrod said the village is under no obligation to establish tax-increment financing or provide sales tax rebate until any construction project is "substantially complete."
Crains had reported Northbrook Court's owners had stopped making mortgage payments, and that its lender was interviewing brokers to handle the sale of the property.
An owner, Brookfield Property Partners, in 2019 received approval for a mixed-use redevelopment including apartment buildings, a supermarket, restaurants and open space. The Village of Northbrook would support the project with a $27 million TIF designation and sales tax incentives.
So far the demolition of the former Macy's space is all that's been performed, with the project stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Northbrook Court does remain open for business.
At the Northbrook Village board meeting of April 13, Elrod said the village is protected in its agreements concerning the redevelopments.
"We imposed a precondition in the agreement that all of the public improvements must be fully constructed, all of the residential and retail buildings must be substantially complete, and all of the mall renovations must be substantially complete before the Village's obligation even kicks in," Elrod stated in a release by the Northbrook Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
He added that the agreement also covers potential transfers or changes in ownership.
Special education meeting
Northbrook/Glenview School District 30 will hold a special education meeting virtually at 10:30 a.m. May 7. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the district's plans for providing special education services to students with disabilities who attend private schools or home schools within the district for the 2021-22 school year.
Parents of such a student are urged to attend. If participating in the meeting, by May 4 contact Tiffani Cuneo via email at email@example.com.
The District 30 board of education will meet at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 29, in the cafeteria of Maple School, 2370 Shermer Road, Northbrook. The board will welcome new member Dr. Stephanie Yohannan, and bid adieu to President Ursula Sedlak, retiring after eight years of service. Vice President Nancy Artz will succeed Sedlak as president.
The public is invited to attend, provided people wear masks. Temperatures will be checked at a sign-in at the door. For information, call (847) 498-4190.
Helping restaurants bounce back from pandemic losses is a stress of Northbrook government. A proposal to establish a permanent outdoor dining space by Eataco, 1350 Shermer Road, could catch on.
The eatery submitted an application for a proposed sidewalk dining patio, covered yet open -- a pergola -- to the Northbrook Village Board on April 13. The plan proposed 12 tables seating either two or four diners, to be place next to the restaurant on the existing sidewalks down Shermer and Meadow roads.
Trustees and village staff members were concerned how the permanent dining would affect sidewalk use, but it was also suggested a pergola at Eataco could be used as a test case for outdoor dining options elsewhere in the village.
The proposal will be reviewed by the village's Architectural Control Commission before returning to the full board for consideration.
Near the end April 20 meeting of the Northbrook Plan Commission, Marcia Franklin announced her intention to step down from the chair position after incoming board President Kathryn Ciesla is sworn in on May 11.
Franklin will be leaving a year early after serving 20 years and 10 as chair.
"I don't think anyone should be chairman of the Plan Commission forever, I think it's a bad idea, and when I took the job I said I would only serve two terms," Franklin told commission members.
"Frankly, I think there ought to be term limits -- because I think you should be able to stay on the Plan Commission as long as you want to, but I think the chairman should serve for a fixed or a limited period of time.
"I expect to be at the next meeting (May 4), but I suspect after that you will have a new chairman," Franklin said.
Ciesla will have the opportunity to appoint a new plan commissioner.
Franklin's departure is among a swath of outgoing village veterans, some of whom were noted at Tuesday's village board meeting. Those included human resources manager Greg Van Dahm; deputy village manager and chief financial officer Jeff Rowitz; deputy police chief Daniel Strickland; deputy fire chief David Crawford; and police department administrative assistant Mary Carlyon.
The board also recognized Jill Brickman for her 20 years of service as Northfield Township supervisor, and Carlos Früm for more than two decades of leadership with the Northbrook Public Library.
Willowbrook School, 2500 Happy Hollow Road, Glenview, has partnered with the Northbrook Public Library to offer a "book stroll" through the field behind the school, from May 10-24.
This book stroll in particular, based on the children's book "Rescuing Mrs. Birdley," is a good way for parents and their children to get outside, get a little exercise, and enjoy a book along the way.
Aaron Reynolds' picture book describes what a young nature enthusiast does when she spies her teacher in the wild -- a grocery store. She returns her to her natural habitat at the school, of course.
Because this book stroll is on Willowbrook School grounds, people outside the school community are advised to visit the field on evenings or weekends when school is not in session.