Public hearing set for proposed Pheasant Run TIF district

The public will have the chance to comment next month on a proposal to create a tax increment financing district to spur the redevelopment of the shuttered Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

A public hearing will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 3, in the St. Charles City Council chambers. A joint review board unanimously recommended that the city approve the proposed Pheasant Run Redevelopment Plan and Redevelopment Project. The panel also found the former resort property meets the criteria to become a tax increment financing district.

TIF districts freeze property taxes paid to the local governments at their current levels for 23 years. Taxes collected above those levels from within the area will go into a special city fund to pay for redevelopment efforts,

St. Charles Economic Development Director Derek Conley said he was pleased with the joint review board's recommendation.

"We always want to be good partners with our taxing bodies," he said. "To have them show up and show their support is good. And now we move on to the next step, which is the public hearing."

Pheasant Run closed in March 2020 after a failed attempt to auction the resort. McGrath Honda redeveloped the former Pheasant Run Mega Center adjacent to the property. Industrial buildings will be built on the former Pheasant Run Resort golf course.

The plan estimates it will cost $42.6 million to redevelop the resort. That includes an estimated $16.5 million in demolition, site preparation and environmental cleanup, along with $9 million in land acquisition and assembly.

Other costs include $3 million in infrastructure/public facilities improvements, $1.5 million in rehabilitation costs, $5.5 million in interest costs and $6 million in statutory school district payments.

But, as Conley noted, there isn't a proposed project or even a defined land use beyond commercial for the property yet.

"Thus determining the redevelopment costs is very difficult," he said. "The $42 million captures all possible costs in the event that they are needed. However, for any potential project, it is not realistic that the full $42 million would be utilized."

Conley also said just because it's an estimated redevelopment cost doesn't mean it's going to be paid for by the TIF.

"The city is only looking to fill in a financial gap for a potential development," he said. "A majority of the redevelopment costs will be borne by the prospective developer."

Officials sat that a fire that destroyed large parts of the resort in May has increased the need to use tax increment finances to spur its redevelopment. Two male juveniles - one from Carol Stream and one from Wheaton - have been charged with setting the fire. Two other male juveniles - one from Carol Stream and one from Winfield - have been charged with trespassing at the resort.

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