City Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Plan and Project Overview

The City of Highland Park (the “City”) designated the Briergate TIF District in 2017 in order to spur the redevelopment of the properties located along the Skokie Highway and Deerfield Road area. The TIF objectives including findings for the Skokie Highway Corridor Strategic Plan adopted by the City in 1997 indicated the need for public improvements and infrastructure, as well as addressing obsolete uses (such as the Solo Cup site – the site of the Ridge Creek development).

Redevelopment Objectives as stated in the 2017 TIF Plan would:

  1. Attract new businesses and retain existing businesses in order to maintain and increase the existing tax base.
  2. Encourage redevelopment of obsolete properties in order to support the vitality of Highland Park’s Briergate business district.
  3. Undertake streetscape enhancements and other infrastructure improvements as recommended in the Skokie Highway Corridor Strategic Plan, in order to improve the business environment for retail users.|
  4. Promote mixed-use redevelopment within the Project Area combining commercial and residential uses within the same site or building.

Source: Briergate TIF Plan, page 12.

The proposed Ridge Creek development (the “Project”) directly addresses several objectives found above. The Project will significantly increase the tax base through the redevelopment on new uses, will encourage the redevelopment of the obsolete and vacant Solo Cup site; it will provide needed infrastructure improvements to transition the site from current uses to new uses; and it will promote mixed use development, including residential single family and multifamily uses at the site.

The preliminary TIF projections estimate that over $70,000,000 of TIF revenues could be generated over 23 years over the annual base taxes of approximately $310,000. In the event there are school age children residing in the Project, a portion of the increment can be allocated for eligible tuition costs as provided for by the TIF Act. The remaining amounts could be allocated to the Project for TIF eligible costs and could also be used by the City to fund other TIF eligible costs.

Based upon City priority projects that are listed in the TIF Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA), the City would have the discretion to allocate revenues to the Toys “R” Us site as well as to the improvement of the Frontage Road. The Solo Cup site is already deemed a priority project and is identified in the IGA. The development momentum generated by the Solo Cup reuse - a substantial investment of over $175,000,000 - serves as a positive market signal for the area with spin off benefits to the surrounding properties.

Other Public Benefits

In addition to the Project TIF revenues and spin off allocations for other City improvements and sites, it is anticipated that the Project will generate:

  • A significant amount of construction jobs.
  • Redevelopment of a large visible and vacant site to a market driven productive re-use.
  • Additional retail spending within the City and the surrounding area due to occupancy of the new residential units.
  • City permit, inspection and impact fees estimated at over $5,000,000.
  • The new residential units will serve to diversify City housing stock – offering viable alternatives to City residents as well as, to prospective residents. The luxury apartment units offer maintenance free alternatives to different market segments – stabilizing population and improving the City’s overall economy.
  • The Project will provide a significant amount of affordable housing units to add to the City’s residential base.
  • Redevelopment of a large, visible site will include a number of both private and public amenities and improvements serving to attract residents and visitors to the site.
  • The property’s redevelopment will aesthetically enhance property along Ridge Road – a major City arterial - demonstrating renewed investor confidence in the area.

Other City revenues tied to population or per capita formulas such as State telecom tax revenues, Motor Fuel Tax, State income tax allocations, and State use tax revenues would be expected to increase as a result of new occupied units within the area.

Once the TIF District is retired it is estimated that over $60,000,000 of “recovered value” (Equalized Assessed Valuation) would be returned to all taxing districts to increase their tax base. This would translate to over $4,000,000 in additional tax revenue per year to all taxing districts.