What was the purpose of the Downtown Skokie Redevelopment Open House held on August 13, 2019 at the Ignite Gaming facility on Skokie Boulevard?
Similar to the previous Open House hosted by the Village in the fall of 2017 to announce the new 8000 North development project at the corner of Lincoln/Oakton, the Downtown Skokie Redevelopment Open House was held throughout the day on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 to introduce the community to the rationale, purpose and opportunities which will be derived from the proposed Oakton-Niles TIF District. Beyond the proposed TIF District, Village staff thought it very appropriate to introduce and update the community on various mixed-use and residential developments currently or soon to be underway in and around the Downtown, as well as to showcase the new Ignite-Gaming Skokie, which offers state-of-the-art e-sports entertainment, video games, a full-service restaurant and bar and 7,500 sf of event space for groups of up to 500.
The event was heavily promoted by the Village, the Skokie Chamber of Commerce, the Skokie Park District and High School District 219 using a variety of outreach mechanisms. An estimated 300+ guests were able to visit twelve (12) information stations featuring the various development projects underway and anticipated in the Downtown. Participating developers, project team members, property owners, Village staff and consultants were on hand to receive and respond to questions raised by local residents and business owners. Guests were asked to provide their contact information on a voluntary basis in order to receive additional communications regarding the Village, and/or specific development or the proposed new TIF District. Any queries received by Village staff regarding specific developments outside the purview of the Village were forwarded to the respective developer/team.
Why is the Village Proposing a New TIF District in Downtown Skokie?
Establishment of the proposed Oakton/Niles TIF District creates an opportunity to produce several transformative and iconic buildings at the gateway to the Illinois Science + Technology Park (ISTP) on properties that have been vacant, underutilized and declining in equalized assessed value (EAV) for many years. The proposed TIF District will be directly adjacent to the existing 93-acre Downtown Science & Technology (DST) TIF District (expiring in 2029) and includes only commercially-zoned properties, covering approximately 6.25 acres. This new TIF District represents only .225 of the Village’s entire EAV. The new TIF District’s total EAV has declined by over 30% since 2012 and the initial proposed area to be redeveloped at this time has declined by over 44% over the past decade.