NEW - Oakton - Niles TIF District

NEW - Ordinances Approving Oakton Niles TIF District 9-16-19

Downtown Skokie Open House Invitation - August 13, 2019

Key Upcoming Dates regarding the Proposed Oakton Street/Niles Avenue TIF District

All meetings will be held at Village Hall 

July 11, 2019 - 3:00 pm Convening of the Joint Review BoardThe JRB reviews the planning documents and proposed ordinances regarding the proposed TIF District. The JRB shall make an advisory, non-binding recommendation regarding the TIF area within thirty (30) days after the convening of the JRB. The JRB shall base its decision to recommend or not recommend the proposed TIF District on the basis of the proposed TIF District satisfying the statutory eligibility criteria.

UPDATE - July 19, 2019: Representatives from the taxing jurisdictions voted unanimously to recommend the proposed TIF District on the basis of the proposed TIF District satisfying the statutory eligibility criteria for a 6.5-acre area in Downtown Skokie following a presentation by Village of Skokie staff and consultants on the merits and qualification of the proposed TIF District. Representatives included: Niles Township Government, Niles Township High School District 219, Oakton Community College, Skokie/Morton Grove School District 69, Skokie Library District, Skokie Park District, the Village of Skokie and an at-large public member.

August 19, 2019 - 8:00 pm Village Board holds the public hearing for the proposed TIF DistrictAny interested person or affected taxing district may file written objections or be heard orally in this forum. The public hearing may be adjourned to another date without any further written notices.

September 3, 2019 - 8:00 pm Introduction by Village Board of (i) ordinance(s) to amend Downtown TIF and (ii) three ordinances necessary to adopt TIF Plan, establish the Redevelopment Project Area and to adopt tax increment financing.

September 16, 2019 - 8:00 pm Village Board considers adoption of (i) ordinance(s) to amend Downtown TIF and (ii) three ordinances necessary to adopt TIF Plan, establish the Redevelopment Project Area and to adopt tax increment financing. 

Oakton Niles TIF

Proposed Village of Skokie Oakton Street - Niles Avenue

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District - FAQ

What is being proposed at Oakton Street and Niles Avenue in Downtown Skokie?

The Village of Skokie has a generational opportunity to induce several transformational developments at an important intersection in the Downtown on properties that have been vacant, underutilized and declining in equalized assessed value (EAV) for many years. A brand new Homewood Suites by Hilton Hotel and Conference Center is being proposed for the former Sanford Brown College site at 4930 Oakton Street and will include formidable conference/banquet space, ground floor retail, and a unique restaurant/rooftop bar, along with other attractive amenities. 

4930 Oakton Street:  Current Condition - Vacant Since 2014

Sanford Brown Before

Proposed Homewood Suites Hotel By Hilton

Homewood Suites

Key Facts:

  • 141 Room Suite Hotel
  • $43+ Million Investment
  • Demand Quantified by 2 Feasibility Studies

Project Amenities:

  • Rooftop Bar / Restaurant Open to the Public
  • Meeting Space - 10,000 Square Feet
  • Ground Floor Retail and Restaurant Space - 13,000 Square Feet
  • Pool, Fitness Center, Business Center, and Terrace Area
  • Significant Addition for Downtown Skokie and the Illinois Science + Technology Park
  • Potential Opening in Early 2021

Additionally, a multi-million dollar headquarter company (350+ employees) and/or several highly-valued tenants requiring office, laboratory and Research & Development (R&D) space are being recruited by the owner of the Illinois Science + Technology Park (ISTP) at 8030 Lamon Avenue, which is located directly north of the proposed hotel. As a result, a new 1,000+ space parking garage and infrastructure improvements surrounding the hotel and ISTP parcels will need to be constructed to support these new projects. 

8030 Lamon Avenue: Recent Condition - Primarily Vacant Since 2000 

8030 Lamon Before

8030 Lamon Avenue: Rendering of Completed Renovation J After

Key Facts:

  • 146,000 Square Foot Building for Office / Research and Development as well as Wet Lab Space
  • Projected $63 + Million Private Investment
  • Exterior Construction Underway - Anticipated Completion October, 2019
  • Building Can Accommodate 400 + Employees as a Single Tenant of Multiple Tenants
  • One Firm is Contemplating Buying the Entire Building, but Will Require TIF Assistance

Why a Hotel and Conference Center?

Since the fall of 2016, there has been growing interest from private sector developers to bring a high- quality, branded hotel project to Downtown Skokie. Several such proposals have been presented by experienced hotel developers to Village staff and two independent hotel market feasibility studies have been undertaken which confirm a demand for rooms and conference space within the Skokie market area. The original as well as the current owners of the ISTP have long contemplated such a use on Oakton Street to support the ever-growing tenant base and international visitors to the tech park. The proposed Homewood Suites by Hilton Hotel and Conference Center will offer competitive room and parking rates, along with direct access to the CTA and expressways for those guests heading to Cub games, Downtown Chicago, the North Shore or elsewhere.  The estimated 35,000+ hotel guests visiting annually at this high quality destination,  business, and event center will further strengthen the local economy, and, in particular, the restaurants, shops and service companies within Downtown Skokie.

Why is the Village of Skokie proposing the new Oakton Street/Niles Avenue TIF District for this project site?

It is important to note that the proposed Homewood Suites by Hilton Hotel and Conference Center, the ISTP office and research facility, and adjacent parking garage to support these projects will not occur without a substantial public investment from the Village. While market studies have shown that Downtown Skokie can support both a new hotel and more office/research/wet lab/ R&D space, the proposed private developers and investors have emphatically indicated that these developments will not be undertaken without significant public assistance to make all three (3) projects financially feasible. The economics of actually constructing and operating such facilities in today’s construction marketplace have not proven financially feasible for  private sector partners and will require additional gap financing.  The use of tax increment finance (TIF), which relies on incremental property tax revenues collected over time by the Village to cover anticipated project deficits, is the best option currently available as determined by Village staff as well as the Village’s TIF Consultants.   The hotel project requires $13.5 million to complete a $43+ million investment and the 8030 Lamon Avenue building and Niles Avenue parking garage will require over $15 million in public assistance towards a potential $80+ million investment.  Both of these initial incentive agreements would be paid for over time from annual property tax increment generated from a new TIF District. No new Village-issued debt is contemplated for these projects.

Key Facts:

  • Proposed Parking Structure to serve:
  • New Construction at Illinois Science & Technology Park
  • Hotel
  • Public Downtown Parking (+/- 150 spaces)
  • Future Residential / Employers
  • Infrastructure Improvements Developing Oakton Terrace and Lamon Avenue

How will the School Districts and other taxing bodies benefit from the use of TIF for these developments?

It is a known fact that the total equalized assessed valuation (EAV) and subsequent property taxes being generated on the Downtown parcels slated to be redeveloped has declined by over 45% over the past ten (10) years.  The primary overlapping taxing districts (including School District 69, Niles Township HS District 219, the Skokie Park and Library Districts, the Village of Skokie, Niles Township and Oakton Community College) currently receive a prorated share of approximately $340,000 in taxes from these properties. School District 69, for example, receives approximately $160,000 from this total because it represents 47% of the current tax rate. Once the hotel and ISTP projects are stabilized, the annual taxes to be generated will increase to over $2.8 million, allowing for School District 69 to receive over $1.3 million annually (a 713% increase!) after the TIF District is terminated. 


Why can’t the Village use other financing tools to assist the developers of these projects?

While other areas within Skokie have experienced growth from private investment due to less expensive development options and parameters combined with the strong economy, the Village continues to hear from the private sector that quality economic development and significant private investment in Downtown Skokie will not occur without varying levels of public assistance. This need for help from the Village is not unique to Skokie, as it occurs in many similar communities seeking stronger, more robust commercial, retail/restaurant and mixed uses proximate to older residential neighborhoods, municipal institutions and public transit areas.  As is the case in Downtown Skokie, the Village is challenged by significantly increased development costs, logistical, remediation, and infrastructure challenges which necessitate TIF assistance.

To achieve meaningful increases in the overall EAV, generate more sales taxes and foster stability within Downtown Skokie, the Village has, with the support of overlapping taxing jurisdictions, successfully used various public financing methods to leverage certain private investments and bring positive change. Since 1990, the Village has issued General Obligation bonds, established a Special Service Area within the ISTP, applied for and received various federal and state grants, utilized economic development funds generated by the Village’s real estate transfer tax and has successfully implemented the state-authorized TIF tool to induce new and existing property owners to invest in Downtown Skokie. For example, the original Downtown Skokie TIF District (which ended in 2014), produced over $36 million in new EAV and the existing Downtown Science & Technology TIF District, scheduled to end in 2029, is anticipated to generate more than $80 million in new EAV for all overlapping taxing districts.

 How will this new TIF District work? 

As in previous years, the Village intends to allocate anticipated property tax increment produced from future development projects that would not occur “but for” the proposed new Oakton/Niles TIF District. As is Skokie’s long-standing practice, use of these incentives will be dictated by a review of each project as well as the generation of sufficient tax increment on a ‘case by case’ basis. The Village believes that the above-described TIF assistance will bring highly attractive and unique transit-oriented destinations to Downtown Skokie, important amenities to the current and future ISTP tenants, and address the long-stated goals and vision for the ISTP by its owners, users and the Village. A focused, modestly-sized, ‘developer-driven’ TIF District as proposed will provide the critical revenue over time to secure quality investments and spur these and future development in the heart of Downtown Skokie, leading to significant growth in EAV for all overlapping taxing districts once the TIF ends. Proposed Oakton-Niles TIF Distrcit Plan

In summary, the advancement of the proposed Oakton Street / Niles Avenue TIF District will not only bring over 35,000 new visitors a year, but will generate well over 500 new jobs in Downtown Skokie and will have a significantly positive impact throughout the community and region.