East Dundee administrators are looking for ways to boost Haeger, another redevelopment with tax incentives
With just a decade left on a property tax incentive scheme to help spur redevelopment in East Dundee’s town center district, village administrators wonder if another is needed to infuse new life to the Haeger Pottery property and other plots.
Trustees are looking to Chicago-based Johnson Research Group for advice on how to make the most of what’s left on an existing tax increment funding district and whether a new, smaller TIF in the existing district should be created for the closed Haeger Pottery building and other properties in the downtown area south of Route 72.
The study, costing $41,500, will be paid for by existing TIF funds and includes the cost of creating a new TIF if the village council chooses to do so, said village chairman Jeff Lynam.
A TIF district freezes property taxes paid to local governments at their current level for 23 years. Typically, as redevelopment takes place, land values increase, resulting in additional property taxes. All taxes collected above the base level in the TIF district are paid into a special fund to help the village pay the costs of redevelopment.
East Dundee’s city center TIF district, established in 2008, has helped attract new restaurants, such as DC Cobb’s and Black & Gray Brewing Co. Existing businesses, including Van’s Frozen Custard and Made to Measure, have used TIF funds to improve their properties, officials said.
“While there is a lot of work to be proud of, there is still a lot of work to be done,” village administrator Erika Storlie wrote in a note to administrators.
In his memo, Storlie wrote that developer feedback indicated that there was not enough time left in the existing TIF to recoup expenses associated with redevelopment of a property such as the Haeger Pottery site, which includes a 143,000 square foot factory. Haeger Pottery closed at 7 Maiden Lane in 2016, 145 years after opening.
The Haeger Pottery site and the D’Angelo Natural Springs property, also in the downtown area south of Route 72, were included in the original TIF. But they weren’t the focus because the two companies were still operating in 2008, officials said.
Today, both properties are among the last major downtown development opportunities.
“This site is going to be a huge catalyst for the future of the community,” trustee Kathleen Mahony said of the Haeger property.
One way to help redevelop properties, Storlie said, would be to create a smaller TIF that includes the Haeger Pottery property and other undeveloped properties.
There are currently no plans to redevelop the Haeger property. But village officials have discussed the possibility of a mixed-use development that could include housing, a park along the river and retail businesses.