A budget for redevelopment activities and a timeline to set vital meetings have been set as planning continues for the establishment of the River Forest Madison Street Tax Increment Finance district.

Over the 23-year life of the TIF, an estimated $25 million will be generated for redevelopment-related costs, such as land acquisition, infrastructure improvements, rehabilitation of existing structures and professional services, a consultant told the Economic Development Commission on July 8. 

Costs associated with relocating residents affected by TIF redevelopment also will be included in budget, said Robert Rychlicki, executive vice president of Kane McKenna, which is aiding the village in creation of TIFs along Madison and North avenues. 

The number of people affected by the TIF was not available, although Rychlicki noted it was far less than those who live in the North Avenue TIF. Studies on that area are still being conducted, village officials said.

The budget was based on three hypothetical scenarios of the type of redevelopment — from multi-use with commercial or retail to infill rehab to a strip mall — that could take place along Madison Street, Rychlicki said. 

“[The budget] is a best guess based on growth and the economy,” said Eric Palm, River Forest’s village administrator. “We have to start somewhere.” 

The “launch button” for TIF meetings will be pushed in August, when information and reports gathered during the study of the Madison Street TIF will be available. At that time, the eligibility study and report, a housing impact study and the redevelopment plan and project will be complete, according to a schedule and timeline for establishing the TIF. 

In September, residents living within the boundaries of the TIF and elected officials from River Forest taxing districts will be able to learn about the proposed TIF district during what Rychlicki called a TIF 101 meeting.  

Two other public hearings will be conducted — one in October and the other in November — before an ordinance designating the TIF district is adopted by trustees either in December or early January. 

Madison Street’s TIF, one of two that River Forest has been working to create for months, will run from Lathrop on the east to just north of the railroad tracks on Hawthorne Avenue. Initially, the boundary was to run to just the tracks, until research found that the property identification number for the railroad tracks ran just north to Hawthorne. 

“The village would have had to wait another year if we wanted Cook County to subdivide the property,” Palm said. “We would have lost a year or two of increment depending on the cooperation of the railroad.” Those tracks belong to the Canadian National Railroad.

— By Deborah Kadin

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