Elk Grove village officials plan to create a new tax-raise financing district at the northern entrance to town, which includes a former shopping center and bowling alley that the village has just purchased.
The proposed 25.5-acre district would encompass commercial properties on the southeast corner of Arlington Heights and Higgins roads, including the shopping center – the first of its type to open in the village in 1959 – and Elk Grove Bowl, which closes at the end of the month after 60 years.
The TIF district would also extend to six commercial properties on the north side of Higgins, from Arlington Heights Road to Gordon Street, and include a multi-tenant office building that houses Mayor Craig Johnson’s private insurance business.
The new TIF would be contiguous to the one established in 2017 in conjunction with the redevelopment of the former Busse family farm in the Elk Grove Technology Park, placing the entire Higgins Road commercial corridor that runs through the village in one special tax districts.
“We want this to be a catalyst now to redevelop this whole area,” Johnson told local tax agency officials Thursday afternoon at a meeting to review the village’s proposal.
The Joint Review Committee sits Johnson representing the Village, the respective Chief Financial Officers of Northwest Suburban High School District 214 and Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59, and Mark Pusateri as a public member appointed by Johnson . It took a non-binding 4-0 vote in favor of the proposed Arlington/Higgins TIF redevelopment plan. Representatives from other taxing agencies, including Harper College, Elk Grove Park District, Elk Grove Township and Cook County, were not present.
The advisory vote sets up a formal public hearing at 6:45 p.m. on May 10, before the village council votes on a series of ordinances enacting the new district. TIF districts are freezing property taxes paid to local governments at their current levels for 23 years. Taxes collected above these levels within the area will go into a special village fund to pay for redevelopment efforts, such as those proposed at the local shopping center and bowling alley site.
The village paid $12.7 million for the properties in two separate transactions last December, while announcing plans for a potential mixed-use development that would preserve as many retailers as possible and add a housing component.
Officials’ first vision calls for a 250-apartment three- to five-story building on the bowling alley site closer to Arlington Heights Road and a retail building along Higgins.
They delayed sending out a request for proposals to developers until the new TIF could be enacted, as the special funding could act as an incentive to pay eligible project costs under US law. state, Johnson said.
A report by Camiros, Ltd., the village’s TIF consultant, puts redevelopment costs over the neighborhood’s 23-year lifespan at $33 million – of which $28 million would be for property assembly, including including acquisition, demolition, site preparation, relocation and environmental remediation.
Johnson said he and officials decided to be “proactive” in guiding the corner’s redevelopment when engineering department staff members last year caught wind of a few groups interested in bowling ownership.
“Once we heard that a used car lot – not one, but two different used car lots – wanted to go, that’s not what we want at Elk Grove. “It’s not the picture when you come to our community. … It’s our golden corridor,” Johnson said.
He said the application to developers would be sent out this summer, with the aim of choosing one by the fall and starting construction next year. This would be done in stages to allow businesses to remain open – all of which have said they want to stay.
This includes Jarosch Bakery, the city’s second oldest business after Johnson Insurance Agency. Cookies from the popular family bakery were on the sweet table at Thursday’s meeting in a village hall conference room.
“Our goal is to save, if we can, all businesses. That’s our goal,” Johnson said. “If Jarosch leaves, you will see me hanging from a lamp post in this village.”