by Scott Morgan | Daily Herald
Lisle trustees have approved an economic incentive plan for a developer to build a downtown mixed-use apartment and retail complex to replace a shuttered shopping center.
At a special village board meeting on Monday, trustees voted 4-to-2 in favor of an economic incentive and tax increment allocation financing development agreement.
Trustees who voted for the agreement were Thomas Duffy, Sara Sadat, Stephen Winz and Mary Jo Mullen. In opposition were trustees Cathy Cawiezel and Dan Grecco.
Lisle Mayor Christopher Pecak did not attend the meeting.
The multimillion-dollar project by Indianapolis-based developer Flaherty & Collins Properties is proposed for the Family Square Plaza at the southeast corner of Ogden Avenue and Main Street.
The latest design plans call for 176 apartment units and more than 37,000 square feet of retail space. The complex also would feature a multistory garage with 554 parking spaces, including 90 first-floor spots dedicated to downtown shoppers.
Flaherty & Collins Properties has been interested in redeveloping the site since 2018. The property is within the Lisle Downtown tax increment financing (TIF) district established in 2015.
In a TIF district, property taxes paid to local governments are frozen for up to 23 years. Any extra property tax money collected within the area goes into a special fund to help pay for certain improvements.
As part of the financial assistance agreement, Flaherty & Collins Properties would be eligible for up to $5.94 million in TIF funds (or slightly more than 10% of project costs), with the payment of interest at a rate of 6%. TIF funds can be used to offset eligible projects costs like land acquisition or site demolition.
The agreement also states that Lisle is not to issue debt or bonds. Instead, the village would commit to providing the TIF money to the developer as they are generated on a “pay-as-you-go” basis as the project meets construction and occupancy milestones.
The Lisle planning and zoning commission still would need to review the proposed development. And the project needs to be approved by the Lisle village board for construction to go forward.
On Monday, trustees Cawiezel and Grecco expressed several reservations about the project. They included concerns about the speediness of negotiations and whether another more retail-focused project would be a better downtown fit.
Both said they would prefer that Lisle create a new, larger TIF district that would include Family Square Plaza.
However, Winz said it wouldn’t make sense to remove the property from an existing TIF district.
The board assigned Winz to serve as the signatory authority for the incentive agreement if Mayor Pecak refuses to endorse it.
Mullen said the timing to approve the economic incentive plan on Monday was necessary. She said the mayor could veto the incentive deal. So the board would need proper time to react.
“We were elected to do a job, and we should be here to do the job,” Mullen said before the vote. “We’ve been asked to set a vision and fulfill it and to grow Lisle. I do think it’s time to move forward and take action.”