RF picks up pace on North Avenue TIF

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By Nona Tepper

Momentum is building on North Avenue, as River Forest officials recently dedicated a website to proposed tax increment financing (TIF) district for the street and concluded three public hearings on the topic.

The website can be accessed via the village of River Forest's website at www.vrf.us.

If approved, the North Avenue TIF will stretch from Harlem Avenue to Thatcher Avenue, along the north border of the town and adjoining Elmwood Park. A 2010 Corridor Plan found that 35,000 cars travel down the proposed TIF route daily, making North Avenue the most heavily trafficked corridor in River Forest. 

The Corridor Plan, developed by the Chicago-based urban planning firm Houseal Lavigne Associates, noted that shallow lot depths, adjacent residential neighborhoods, existing built-out development pattern and access issues present a challenge to development of North Avenue. 

"Commercial uses should remain the priority," the plan reads. A 2016 study of the area, completed also by Houseal, recommends the use of a TIF to attract commercial tenants to North Avenue. 

"If the village does not implement this TIF, meaningful redevelopment is less likely to occur, and we may lose a prime opportunity for economic revitalization in the corridor," the village's North Avenue TIF page reads. 

A formal hearing on the North Avenue TIF should take place within the next 60 days. The TIF aims to increase the village's property tax base and stabilize property taxes on homeowners, according to the village.

Nona Tepper

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