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Real Estate in Brief: TIF tiff, new development coming to West Loop and more

by Zachary Wright

Aldermen aligned with Mayor Rahm Emanuel blocked an effort made by members of the Progressive Caucus to reform the city’s use of tax increment financing on Monday – causing the $5 billion Lincoln Yards development to stay in a sort of financial limbo.

The new measure proposed by 22nd Ward Ald. Ricardo Muñoz would only permit private development projects to receive TIF funding if they “would not reasonably be anticipated” to develop without a subsidy. Areas that receive TIF funding must also be blighted, where properties are mostly abandoned or in severe disrepair.

The Lincoln Yards development, however, relies on approximately $800 million TIF funding for new bridges, roads or other infrastructure, according to Ald. Brian Hopkins.

According to the new measure, the ordinance would not apply to projects currently in existence or in development stages.

The committee did not reach a decision during the meeting before adjourning and reconvened on Tuesday morning. The Community Development Commission was scheduled to meet Tuesday to review the study and redevelopment plan for three areas that would receive TIF funding, including Lincoln Yards. The commission scheduled a public hearing instead of public testimony.

In other real estate news:

  • Sangamonroe LLC recently filed a zoning application to develop a 24 story residential tower in the West Loop across from Mary Bartelme Park. According to the application, Sangamonroe would build 193 residential units with 156 parking spaces. The developer purchased the lot in 2018 and allowed residents to use the lot as a community garden during the summer. The lot was purchased in 2013 by Quest Realty Group for $2.5 million, announcing plans to build a 28-unit condo building that never came to fruition.
  • Real estate investor Jill Sickle spent $24.5 million to buy the Northland by JAB Real Estate. This mixed-use development in Old Town was listed in June for $25.6 million – nearly five times as much as JAB originally paid for. The development comes with 61 units with ground floor retail contained within six stories.
  • The Heartland Cafe, a long-time staple of neighborhood life in Rogers Park, will be closing. The owner of the café and grocery store announced Monday that the site of the will be developed into a residential building. Tom Rosenfeld listed the property on Craigslist earlier this year after owning the property for 42 years. A sale of the property is expected to close in January.

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