Moline to consider adding two TIF districts


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Originally Posted Online: April 22, 2013, 5:32 pm
Last Updated: April 23, 2013, 9:12 am
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By Dawn Neuses, dneuses@qconline.com

Investment in redeveloping two areas in Moline could top $150 million, and the city is considering an offer of incentives and assistance.

Moline aldermen, sitting as the committee of the whole, will review two contracts Tuesday night with Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets Inc., each costing $27,000. If approved at a future city council meeting, the company would do a study of the two areas to see if they qualify to be Tax Increment Finance districts.

They are:

- Four blocks between 10th and 14th streets, generally including properties between the railroad tracks and 4th Avenue. The area includes the city-owned O'Rourke building that will become the passenger rail station and possibly an extended-stay hotel proposed by The Amin Group.

- Nine blocks between 25th and 34th streets, and 4th Avenue and River Drive, excluding the Western Illinois University Riverfront campus. The area includes more than 10 acres of city-owned land on River Drive that Three Corners Development, Inc., has proposed for a mixed-use development. Moline has spent city funds, and state and federal grants, to raise the site to make it construction-ready for a developer.

When a TIF is established, the assessed property value is frozen for all taxing bodies, and property tax created by new construction or redevelopment goes into a TIF fund to be used for improvement within that TIF area or as incentives to developers.

A TIF lasts 23 years, but with the approval of the Illinois General Assembly, can be extended for up to 12 years.To be designated a TIF, the area must be blighted or designated as a conservation area.

According to agenda documents, "the city council has examined the proposed area and circumstances at this time and finds that it is reasonable to believe a tax increment financing plan can be adopted for said area...."

Moline already has nine TIFs. The two areas proposed to be studied are currently within the downtown TIF, which has a $6.6 million deficit and expires in 2021.

Moline planning and development director Ray Forsythe said it may be necessary to remove those two areas from the downtown TIF and create two new TIFs. With the current TIF expiring in eight years, "It does not leave enough time to generate the necessary increment to even build a parking structure," he said.

The city is considering building a parking structure for the multi-modal facility and future development around the station.

Mr. Forsythe said the TIF areas to be studied include property beyond Riverbend Commons (the property adjacent to the WIU site) and the O'Rourke building because the city has planned for additional development for years.

"We picked the study area based on where we think there is the most realistic expectation for expansion and development to take place," he said.

Three Corners Development is revising its financial projections for Riverbend Commons, "but it is pretty clear there is a gap and we don't have a lot of options to fill that gap," Mr. Forsythe said. "TIF is the most obvious solution, but the city will definitely explore all of its options."

As for development planned for the O'Rourke building,"TIF will be an important part of that project in order to provide the necessary parking and improvements, not only for the multi-modal station but additional private development as well," he said.

Mr. Forsythe expects the studies to take about 90 days, and said the city is working with Three Corners on a development agreement and the company is expected to release its plans for Riverbend Commons this week.

He said Three Corners likely will invest $75 to $100 million in its development which will include housing, retail, commercial, and parking adjacent to the Western Illinois University Riverfront Campus.

Amin Group still is working on concepts for redevelopment of the upper stories of the O'Rourke building and discussions on a development agreement are not as far along, Mr. Forsythe said, adding that the total investment in that proposed TIF could easily exceed $50 million.

In other business, the city council was scheduled to vote on establishing a TIF for SouthPark Mall. According to the agenda, staff is requesting the vote be delayed until June 18.

Mr. Forsythe said the city continues to have discussions with mall owner Macerich Co. about improvements to the property. Staffers are asking the vote be delayed because the mall owner expects to have preliminary redevelopment plans ready in mid-June, he said.

"Macerich has assured us they are committed to SouthPark Mall and its redevelopment."



If you go

The Moline Committee of the Whole meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday on the second floor of city hall, 619 16th St. The city council meeting immediately follows. 

Agendas are available at city hall or moline.il.us. 














 



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