A could be removed from its current tax incrementing financing district and re-assigned to a new district on north of North Avenue, a city committee heard Monday.
Consultants delivered Phase One reports on three possible to the Development, Planning and Zoning Committee on Monday, along with an idea for giving the vacant property bounded by North Avenue, Addison Avenue, York Road and Third Street more time and money.
Aldermen and city staff are focusing on three areas as potential new TIF districts: North York Road, York and Vallette streets, and Riverside Drive. In a TIF district, a city targets an underperforming area for redevelopment and sets a base value of the property. The growth in the value of the property over this base value is the increment, which goes into a special fund to make additional investments in the area, generating even more growth in the TIF.
Current TIF districts include City Centre, an area between Lake Street and Interstate 290, and the northeast corner of St. Charles Road and Route 83.
The Hahn Street project currently is part of TIF I, which helped spark new life into the City Centre. But the Hahn properties, which were slated for condominium and retail redevelopment, fell victim to the real estate market crash. Last year, the city heard a for rental units in the area.
Robert Rychlicki, with consultant Kane McKenna, told the committee that the nine years left on the Hahn property's TIF designation was not enough time for any new development to take place. TIF I has already been extended once, and by state law cannot be extended again. Reassigning the area to a new North York TIF would “reset the clock,” he told the committee, giving it 20 years to take shape.
The committee learned that the 110 properties being considered as part of a new North York Road district, stretching generally from North to Grand avenues, had a 2010 equalized assessed valuation of $32 million. This value lagged behind the city's total EAV for five out of the last five years. Also, 60 percent of the structures in the area were more than 35 years old. Both of these criteria qualified the area for a TIF district.
Removing the properties would require passage of an ordinance before the City Council takes action on creating a North York district.
This is the time to make decisions on what to include in any potential new districts, Rychlicki said. Once a TIF has moved into the public hearing phase, adding properties to its boundaries would send the process back to square one, per state law.
The DPZ committee will now decide whether to ask the full City Council to approve moving on to Phase II of the TIF process. In the next phase, the consultants would create a plan for land use and financing of the districts. The council could chose to investigate all three potential districts at once, which saves consultant fees. The first public comment period would also be conducted during Phase II.
“Phase I solidified what we thought,” said DPZ chairman and 6th Ward Alderman Steve Morley. “Phase II would give us quantifiable data.”