In Homewood, if you own property inside a TIF district, there are a variety of economic incentive programs available to apply for, ranging from façade improvement to environmentally sustainable upgrades.
Unfortunately, some properties in town have the poor fortune of existing just outside of a TIF boundary, even though they're part of the same central business community—or what's known as the B-1 Overlay District. Normally, properties in these locations would be ineligible for incentives, but that may soon change.
Homewood Trustees recently advised village staff to draft a non-TIF property incentive program to help out those who are missing out.
The money for the pilot program will come from the anticipated $46,000 in surplus cash generated from the now closed Washington Park TIF. If the program is successful, there is talk of expanding it to additional business areas, including the North Gate Shopping Center (north Dixie Highway), West Gate (183rd Street), Kedzie Ave. and Cherry Creek Shopping Center.
The following criteria is proposed for non-TIF property incentive eligibility:
- Located in the B-1 Overlay District
- Currently vacant
- Vacant for at least 12 months
- Property owner must have a signed lease for new tenancy; and
- Tenant must generate sales tax.
Trustee Jay Heiferman said he thinks the pilot program signifies a “great end to the Washington Park TIF.”