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City to Hold Hearing on Dempster/Dodge TIF District

The city of Evanston will hold a public hearing on a possible tax increment financing district at Dempster and Dodge, scheduled for 7:15 p.m. at the Civic Center.

A possible tax increment financing (TIF) district at Dempster and Dodge is moving closer to reality.

On Monday night, Evanstonians have the opportunity to share their opinion on the proposal during a public hearing that begins at 7:15 p.m. at the Civic Center.

City officials have stated that the new TIF district will allow Evanston to invest in the plaza’s renovation,  and assist with other redevelopment opportunities.

The shopping center has seen business , leaving  in the once-thriving plaza. And in December, the  purchased the plaza in for $8.1 million.

At the hearing, a joint review board composed of representatives of affected taxing districts will present their report on the matter. The city will then summarize its proposal for the TIF district's operation, before the podium is opened up for public comment.

A target date of May 28 has been set for a potential final City Council vote on the TIF district.

Though planning for the new TIF district has been in the works for some time -- in September, the city authorized up to $80,000 to hire a consultant to study the feasibility of TIF districts at both Evanston Plaza, and Main Street and Chicago Avenue -- the city is looking to move quickly now, requesting the suspension of council rules so they may both introduce and vote on the proposed TIF district creation in a single meeting.

Steve Griffin, director of the City of Evanston’s department of economic and development, said the item was being pushed forward more quickly so the city could help Bonnie as soon as possible.

“We have a larger developer looking to revitalize [Evanston Plaza],” Griffin said, “so we wanted to get that tool in place by the end of the year.”

For more information on the proposed Dempster-Dodge TIF district, check out our past coverage:

Richard Schulte May 16, 2012 at 11:25 AM
"Though planning for the new TIF district has been in the works for some time -- in September, the city authorized up to $80,000 to hire a consultant to study the feasibility of TIF districts at both Evanston Plaza, and Main Street and Chicago Avenue. . . ." What does a TIF consultant do? An $80 grand consulting contract in a recession that has lasted 4+ years? Does Evanston have $80 thousand to pay a TIF consultant? How much does a TIF consultant have to contribute to political campaigns to get the TIF consulting gig? Sounds like "pay to play" (i.e. money-laundering) to me. It ain't called "Crook County" for nothing.

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