Though its effects may be invisible for years, Brookfield has a new tax increment financing district – the Eight Corners TIF, the commercial area in and around where Broadway, Maple, Grand and Washington all converge.
Village trustees voted unanimously to create the new TIF at their meeting on Nov. 14, the culmination of a process that began 14 months ago. The TIF district, which will last for 23 years, is a tool that can help the village encourage economic development in underperforming commercial districts.
Any increase in property tax revenues in the TIF area resulting from increased property assessments is kept in a special fund that can be used exclusively within the TIF for public infrastructure improvements, land assembly and incentives for new development.
One of the reasons village officials sought to create a TIF in the Eight Corners area was because the equalized assessed value (EAV) of property there has fallen dramatically in recent years.
A TIF eligibility report in late 2015 stated that between 2009 and 2014, the total EAV within the TIF area declined by 32 percent, from $11.5 million to $7.8 million. Encouraging new development, increasing traffic and raising property values can also help longtime anchor businesses in the district, such as First National Bank of Brookfield, Tischler’s Finer Foods and CVS remain viable.
The village has identified a number of key sites for potential development, including the shuttered Brookfield Bowl and its adjacent parking lot, which are owned by the village. There’s also a large portion of the 3400 block of Grand Boulevard, parts of which are owned, respectively, by the Methodist Church and business owner Linda Sokol Francis, who has envisioned the site as a community center/church.
However, there are no development proposals on the table presently. But the TIF provides a framework for attracting developers, said Nicholas Greifer, the village of Brookfield’s community and economic development director.
“We don’t have a specific turn-key project to launch, but it gives us the legal tools to start recruiting developers and market the area to the outside real estate community,” Greifer said. “It becomes much more interesting to developers.”
Greifer said the TIF also would allow the village to use general operating dollars in the short term to do improvements, such as streetscape improvements. When the TIF begins to build incremental revenues, the general fund can be reimbursed for those expenses.
Brookfield has two other TIF districts, one stretching the entire length of Ogden Avenue and the Congress Park TIF, which includes village-owned property near the Congress Park train station in the 4000 block of DuBois Boulevard.
The Congress Park TIF is the subject of interest to a developer the village first hired a year ago to market and develop specific parcels along Ogden Avenue. That firm, Troutman and Dams, is exploring a phased project that would bring a mixed use, residential/commercial development to the 4000 block of DuBois and the 9500 block of Ogden Avenue.
The Ogden Avenue TIFs have a had a hard time since the real estate crash of 2008-09 generating anything in the way of incremental tax revenue because of declining EAV in that area as well.
Since 2008, the Ogden Avenue TIF has generated revenue of $521,610 – almost all of it in the first year of the TIF’s existence — while the Congress Park TIF has generated no revenue at all, according to the Cook County Clerk’s Office.