Brightbridge Wealth Management Headlines: Village OKs Consultant for Future Downtown Development
By Melanie Santostefano
Village trustees voted Monday night to hire Evanston-based Teska Associates to move forward on the development of downtown Lake Zurich.
At the meeting, the consultant firm was asked to tweak its proposal to include more detail on project expectations and deliverables.
Among the newly outlined project objectives, which will not exceed $32,825, will be a financial analysis of the debt owed in the tax increment financing (TIF) district and an assessment of what type of development projects would be workable considering today’s economy.
The contract is good for 12 months, but trustees had questions on how long the project actually would take and why they weren’t spelled out in the agreement.
“Do we have a firm timeline for deliverables?” Trustee Rich Sustich asked.
“Are we looking at this taking until next summer?” asked Trustee Tom Poynton.
“Phase 1 for financial analysis will take two months, while the second phase, which is the Community Gap Analysis, will also take a period of two months,” said Dan Peterson, director of building and zoning.
Partners in the project with Teska Associates are Kane, McKenna and Associates and Business District Inc.
Kane, McKenna and Associates will conduct a review of the bond structure in the TIF district as well as debt repayment schedules.
The village is bracing for TIF debt payments to increase substantially in 2014, and consultants will be creating baseline data of current and projected revenues and expenditures.
They also will be working to identify which planned and future projects would work best to help the village meet its debt obligations moving forward.
Concerns persisted over the potential duplication of services from previous attempts at developing downtown.
“The first task is to review the bonds; it seems very repetitive,” said Trustee Jeff Halen. “When we do have a developer, this is important for us to do, but by doing something today and not having a developer on hand, the information will be stale.”
“This is where we need to start – it’s going to be better than information from 2002,” said Trustee Tom Poynton. “If we had the expertise on our staff to do all of this, I wouldn’t want to go ahead, but these people can help to fish developers toward us. I think this money is well-spent.”
A community gap analysis, which takes into account factors such as current and proposed development opportunities, population, employment data, and income, will be performed by Business District Inc.
The company plans to help identify best uses for downtown properties based on the information gathered, and will make clear the “gap” between the current market and where the TIF district stands today.
Included in the consultants’ services will be a rundown of economic development and financing opportunities for the village.
Those could include leveraging resources, reviewing potential development agreements, identifying new tax-generating opportunities and potentially facilitating a number of projects to run concurrently.
Outreach to stakeholders like property and business owners, residents, and elected officials also will be conducted through 10 small-group interview sessions.
Consultants also will hold a round-table discussion for potential developers from Lake Zurich and northern Illinois. The goal of the meeting will be to identify incentives and barriers to building in Lake Zurich from a developer’s point of view.
Before the vote was taken, the four-month timeframe for completion of services was added to satisfy trustees’ concerns.
The project should be completed by November, Peterson said.
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