Central Business District (TIF 1)
The original Central Business District Project Area was established by ordinance O-17-1986 along with a sales tax district.
The project area was created to revitalize an economically stagnant, outdated and uninviting downtown business district with numerous vacancies and low shopping activity. The redevelopment plan goals included creating an attractive and interesting blend of retail, residential, restaurant and office space; providing adequate parking and good traffic flow; improving infrastructure; providing quality streetscape; developing an attractive architectural design while maintaining traditional aesthetics; and bringing all properties into compliance with fire and building safety codes.
One of the first and most successful TIF projects was the expansion of the York Theatre. Over the lifetime of the Central Business District development project area, the York Theatre has grown to 10-screens, drawing over 400,000 visitors to the downtown every year. Improvements to the district are continuing to happen; future projects range from the large scale Opus Project, which begins construction in September 2017 and is utilizing TIF funds to assist in environmental clean-up of the site, to small scale projects that make a big difference, such as plans to replace tree grates throughout the City Centre to walkable ADA compliant grating, increased recycling stations, and lighting upgrades for pedestrian friendly walkways.
Over the lifetime of the Central Business District Project Area, parcels have been removed from the TIF District by ordinance. The slideshow on the right titled, Evolution of Central Business District TIF 1, provides a view of the area over time. More information regarding the release of parcels from the redevelopment project area is available in the Fact Check section.
To view ordinances and other documents related to the Downtown Central Business District, please visit the Development Project Area Document Portal.
Central Business District: Fact Check
What are the parameters of this project area?
Created: 1986 – Expires: 2021*
Frozen Base at Start: $13,528,005
Current EAV (2016): $35,403,983**
* In 2009, the downtown Central Business District Redevelopment Project Area was extended for twelve (12) years.
** Over the lifetime of the project area, the City Council released twelve (12) parcels early to aid the School District. The increment gain on said parcels is not reflected in this number. Those twelve parcels, which had an original EAV of $2,605,740, have a current 2016 EAV of $34,440,681.
Why did the City release parcels from the project area before the end of the TIF?
During the summer of 2003, Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 officials disclosed the existence of a serious budget deficit due to a number of factors including but not limited to increased enrollment, rising operating and staffing costs, unpredictable state finding, unfunded state and federal mandates, and the property tax cap. After reasonable expenditure reductions were implemented, School District 205 formally requested assistance from the City in reviewing possible sources of additional revenue. While other options were considered, ultimately, the best solution appeared to be the early release of properties from the Central Business District project area which would increase the property tax base for all taxing bodies.
An agreement was drafted by staff and attorneys representing the School District and the City; this joint effort ensured that the interests of all parties involved were protected. In 2004 the City Council passed resolution R-06-2004 approving an Intergovernmental Agreement between the City of Elmhurst and Community Unit School District 205. As part of the agreement, the School District agreed that a twelve (12) year extension of the redevelopment area would be in the long-term benefit and financial well-being of the City, School District and other taxing bodies.
As part of the agreement, the City voted to an early release of nine (9) parcels from the project area in 2004. These nine (9) parcels were selected as their redevelopment was substantially completed and their release provided the needed revenue of over $1million to School District 205.
In addition, the City released three (3) additional parcels from the Central Business District project area early (two (2) in 2006, and one (1) in 2007). At the time of their release, each of the parcels had already been substantially improved; among the released parcels were the Market Square Condos & Townhomes, Museum Square Condos, Crescent Court, and Elmhurst Place Apartments. As the 12 parcels were released, the properties went back onto the tax roll at their current improved values. 100% of property tax revenues from these parcels are distributed to the local taxing bodies annually. The current 2016 equalized assessed value of these twelve parcels is $34,440,681.
In 2012, the parcels collectively known as the Hahn Street project were removed from the Central Business District. They were then incorporated into the North York (TIF 4) redevelopment project area.The parcels had been assembled by the City for redevelopment prior to the recession. That site is now home to the mixed use development, Elmhurst 255, a public/private development which came online in September 2016.
Why was the Central Business District TIF extended?
By 2004 the Central Business District had become a lively and attractive destination with new vitality and greatly increased pedestrian traffic attracting both new businesses and private investment. Property values and sales tax revenue both increased dramatically. However, there was still work to be done and with only five (5) years remaining in the TIF, every dollar earmarked for further improvements and development was crucial to enable the entire area to meet its fullest and best use and the City’s commitment to the property owners, business owners, and Elmhurst community. The early release of twelve (12) parcels from the project area to aid the School District reduced the tax increment revenue for the project area and made it impossible for the City to develop the remainder of the TIF by 2009. Extension of the TIF allowed for continued improvements to the Central Business District including streetscape, façade improvements, cultural campus improvements, utility improvements and updates, parking structure development and improvements, and land acquisition.
What incentives are available for businesses in the Central Business District? Why are businesses outside of this area ineligible?
Property Tax revenues generated by improvements in designated TIF areas must be invested back into the district for TIF eligible expenses including: land acquisition, site preparation, building rehabilitation, and public improvements. As funding generated through tax increment financing must be reinvested into the TIF district, businesses outside of the designated project redevelopment area are not eligible for TIF based incentives or assistance.
Retail Grant: Designed to strengthen the retail mix in the City's downtown City Centre via variety and complementary stores and to grow existing retail clusters, the Retail Grant Program is available to retail businesses, including restaurants and food service businesses within the boundaries of TIF I. Participants are eligible for reimbursement of up to $10,000 in verified, qualified expenditures.
Facade Grant: The Façade Grant provides financial assistance to eligible building owners in the Central Business District (CBD) to upgrade and renovate the exterior of their buildings. Financial assistance is available on a one-time basis per building. Eligible activities may include building exteriors, landscape design, signage, life safety, exterior lighting, accessibility, and professional architectural services.
General TIF Incentives: The City has a comprehensive TIF Incentive program, which provides redevelopment assistance for eligible projects to support property improvement and building activities, including acquisition, architectural design, demolition, engineering, infrastructure, interior remodeling, planning, signage, and site work. TIF funds can also be used by property owners and businesses to make needed improvements consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
A provision of the City’s 2004 Intergovernmental Agreement with School District 205, allows the City to enter into public/private partnerships throughout the lifetime of the TIF provided those agreements do not adversely affect the tax revenue distributed to the taxing bodies. As such, all projects that receive funding assistance through the City’s TIF Policy in the Central Business District must be cost neutral to the TIF.
Annual reporting is completed specifically for each TIF. To view TIF reports from 2007/2008 through the present visit the Development Project Area Document Portal.
Email us with questions you may have regarding the history of TIF 1 or the Financial Reporting of any Elmhurst TIF.