Buffalo Grove trustees give go-ahead for $150M mixed-use redevelopment of Town Center – Chicago Tribune

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Buffalo Grove village trustees have approved the single, largest redevelopment project in the village’s history, giving a greenlight to plans for a $150 million mixed-use redevelopment in a prime area of town.

The Clove is a proposed $150 million redevelopment of the village’s town center at Lake Cook and McHenry roads that includes a mix of restaurants, retail, park space and luxury apartments – all anchored by a new national grocer, which has yet to be named.

Trustees voted 5-0 at the June 20 Village Board meeting to approve an ordinance that formally allows the project to begin. Trustee Andrew Stein was absent.

Deputy Village Manager Chris Stilling explained redevelopment of the aging town center has long been a high priority for the village. In 2018, the board adopted the Lake Cook Corridor plan and a tax increment financing district to help spur private development activity in the area. Shortly after that approval, Kensington Development Partners announced interest in acquiring and redeveloping the property.

Last November, the board approved a memorandum of understanding, which laid the financial groundwork for the redevelopment project.

Stilling said the village plans to provide up to $22.75 million to the redevelopment.

“The village’s financial contributions are derived from new revenue sources generated by Kensington and Urban Street’s investment and the TIF district and do not include any general obligation from the village.”

Additionally, he explained, there will be a shared sales tax on new sales tax growth. The village, he said, will retain the first $250,000 of sales tax before any sharing occurs.

“The village is not raising taxes or taking on debt to pay for the project,” Stilling said. “We are simply rebating [the developers] new revenues generated as a result of investment in the TIF district. The village has no financial obligation to fill any gaps if project revenue fails to reach target amounts.”

Village President Beverly Sussman reiterated that message to residents.

“We are not raising taxes for this. The residents are not paying for this and yet, we will have a wonderful new town center. It’s very exciting,” Sussman said.

Jay Eck, principal and managing director at Kensington Development Partners, stood before the board and recognized that despite the many challenges during the last three years – in particular the COVID-19 pandemic, the greatest inflationary period since the 1980s and the greatest rise in interest rates – the project is expected to move forward.

“There are three reasons why we’re still standing,” Eck said. “The strength of Buffalo Grove … the foresight of this board to create a TIF district; without that, we would not be here. And how it’s been received by the retailers, restaurants, the residential partners, those three factors have helped us overcome a 50% increase in costs over three years.”

Planners offered an overview of the project, which is expected to include a Main Street with 16,000 square feet of boutique retail space and a 4,000- to 6,000-square-foot restaurant located on the southern end of the property called Guzman Y Gomez Mexican Kitchen. The 1-acre park will be landscaped and be a venue for community events. It will be surrounded by two freestanding buildings. Another 35,000 square feet building will be renovated. The parking lot will also be redone.

Elizabeth Owens-Schiele is a freelancer.

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July 19, 2022 at 08:24AM

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