A proposed tax increment financing district at the southwest corner of Dempster and Dodge is moving closer to reality in Evanston.
The city council held a public hearing on the matter this Monday, and aldermen are expected to vote on what could become Evanston's seventh TIF district within the next two weeks.
If aldermen approve the proposal created by the city’s economic development department and consultant Kane, McKenna and Associates, the Evanston Plaza shopping center would benefit from up to $20 million in tax increment financing over the next 23 years.
With a vacancy rate of 52 percent and store sizes too large to attract new tenants, the shopping center has been in decline for years. According to Paul Zalzemak, economic development planner, the TIF district would allow the city to reinvest expected tax gains into the shopping center in order to spur growth and make renovations.
“Frankly, it’s the strongest tool available for hyperlocal economic development,” he told the council at Monday’s meeting. “And the value created in the TIF district is recycled directly back into the district.”