Going deep on Madison

Opinion: Editorials

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River Forest is working its plan, a strategic plan for commercial development on Madison Street.

With a TIF in place, village government has been making opportunistic land acquisitions both along Madison Street and again last week just beyond the TIF's boundary when it purchased a home at 11 Ashland Ave. This purchase can now be paired with the village-owned former Lutheran Social Service office building fronting the main street. 

In this patient effort, River Forest is respecting the worries of adjacent homeowners that a TIF would lead to forced sales of their homes as the village battles the shallow lot sizes of the commercial properties along Madison. Instead the village has sent word that they would like to be the buyer when homeowners are ready to sell.

In this case of extended negotiations, the village is paying a relocation premium to the homeowners in order to close the deal. The village's Economic Development Commission strongly endorsed the over-appraisal purchase and the village board wisely concurred. 

We believe this will end up in the plus column for River Forest in the long run.

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