The proposed Redevelopment Project Area (the “RPA”) includes portions of the Fountain Square complex generally bounded by Belvidere Road on the north, McGaw Road on the south, the Canadian Pacific railroad right-of-way on the west, and Illinois Route 43/Waukegan Road on the east. The Walmart store and the residential area to the southwest are excluded. The RPA includes fifty-two (52) tax parcels. A boundary map of the proposed RPA is seen below.
The City recognizes the need for implementation of a strategy to revitalize existing properties within the boundaries of the RPA, as well as to stimulate and enhance new commercial, retail and mixed-use redevelopment. The ability to respond to marketplace demands is a key component of the City’s strategy to promote private redevelopment within strategically critical areas of the City. The requisite private investment will likely only be stimulated in the RPA if tax increment financing (TIF) is adopted pursuant to the TIF Act, since incremental property tax revenue generated by the redevelopment will play a decisive role in encouraging private redevelopment. Existing conditions, such as those associated with properties and site improvements located within the RPA, that may have precluded intensive private reinvestment in the past, will be eradicated. Ultimately, the implementation of the Redevelopment Plan and Project will benefit the City and all the associated taxing districts, in the form of a stabilized and significantly expanded tax base. The designation of the area as a Redevelopment Project Area will allow the City to address deficiencies within the RPA, by taking the following steps:
- Establishing a pattern of up-to-date mixed-use and retail/commercial land-uses that will increase property valuations and address evolving market trends, especially as such uses are responsive to market conditions and potential casino uses;
- Providing and coordinating roadway, traffic and other site improvements that provide access to the area, serve the area, and are within the area;
- Soliciting, coordinating, and supporting improved public transportation access to the area;
- Entering into redevelopment agreements in order to facilitate and guide the redevelopment and adaptive re-use of underutilized properties;
- Improving area appearance through undertaking modern landscape, streetscape and signage programs;
- Coordinating land assembly in order to provide sites for more modern redevelopment plans; and
- Providing and updating infrastructure that is adequate in relation to redevelopment plans.
The area on the whole would not reasonably be anticipated to be redeveloped in a coordinated manner without the adoption of the Redevelopment Plan and Project. The City has prepared the Redevelopment Plan and Project to utilize tax increment financing in order to address area needs and to meet the City’s redevelopment goals and objectives.