Redevelopment of the downtown area bordered by Lake, Marion, North Boulevard and Harlem would create more than $17 million in property tax revenue over 14 years, double the revenue the area would generate without redevelopment, a consultant told the downtown “superblock” committee last night.

Lisa Lyon, a financial advisor with Roseville, Minn.-based Ehlers & Associates, told the committee that without redevelopment the area would generate $8.7 million, not enough to repay costs of building a 500- to 600-car garage as the committee has planned. The dollar figures are not adjusted for inflation.

The superblock area resides in the village’s Downtown TIF District. Tax Increment Finance Districts draw a line on property tax receipts created by properties within the district when the TIF is created, freeing any additional tax revenue–referred to as increment–to fund infrastructure improvements, developer incentives, or other specific costs.

Lyon said roughly 60 percent–about $10 million–of the projected revenue could be obtained near the beginning of the three-phase plan through bonds, which would be repaid with increment created by more valuable buildings paying higher tax bills.

Lyon will tweak her calculations based on a final draft of the committee’s recommended redevelopment plan which it finalized last night at what was likely its last meeting. The ad hoc committee, comprising mostly chairpeople of village commissions, was charged with recommending a plan on the “superblock” to the village board, including how to proceed with a purchase agreement on the Colt Building.

When she presents her final report to the village board, it will contain information on how close the plan comes to the target ratio of 1-to-7 public-to-private funds identified in the Greater Downtown Master Plan. Trustee Ray Johnson, an ex-officio member of the committee, asked for the information.

The committee finished its discussions on what to recommend to the Oak Park village board at Oct. 20 and Oct. 27 sessions, much of which will not depart greatly from its major decisions arrived at last week: to sacrifice the Colt Building in favor of saving other historic buildings, creating a new north-south road connecting Lake Street and North Boulevard, and opening Marion Street to vehicular traffic.

Its presentation will come in three forms–a map roughly showing which properties would preferably be kept and which are up for redevelopment, a memorandum providing context for the committee’s decisions and highlighting the complexity of certain issues, and in-person feedback at the meetings.

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