Community > Wheeling Circular/Village Views

Click here to go to the Village Views Archive in the Reference Desk section of our website.A lot of the information in our Wheeling Circular (formerly known as Village Views) newsletter can be found in various places throughout our website.  This page will  feature an article from the most recent issue.  We also have an archive of past newsletters available in our Reference Desk section.  Click here to go to the Archive page.

September - October

From the Desk of President Dean S. Argiris

It is with great satisfaction that I can report that the Village is proceeding with our important downtown developments around the Wheeling Metra Station. The Village worked collaboratively with the local taxing districts to negotiate an intergovernmental agreement to share property tax revenues and pave the way for over $150 million in new development. This agreement has prevented costly litigation that would have likely driven these new developments away. The Village and the taxing districts worked tirelessly over the past few months to allow
each party to achieve positive results for their respective constituents. The result is a collective win for Wheeling residents for years to come. As your Village President, I am very  satisfied with the common ground we have found.

Without getting too deep in the financial weeds, the Village, High School District 214, School District 21, the Wheeling Park District, and the Indian Trails Public Library achieved a compromise over the flow of tax revenues during the life of a pair of 23-year Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts formed to make the new developments possible. Suffice it to say, the negotiations were spirited, with all parties advocating passionately for their positions. On July 21, we reached a  tentative intergovernmental agreement, and the respective governing boards of all parties are in the process of approving the  agreement as this newsletter goes to press. Special thanks are due to State Representatives Elaine Nekritz, Carol Sente, and David Harris, who helped forge the agreement and kept all parties focused on the big picture.

With those hurdles cleared, the Village Board approved two formal redevelopment agreements regarding major upcoming projects. The first, approved on July 21, was an agreement with Reva Development Partners to build Northgate Crossing, a $50 million, 288-unit luxury apartment project on the former Kenny Construction site near the center of town. The second, approved on August 4, was an agreement with Urban R2 for the bulk of the Town Center development just east of the Metra station.

The most visible part of the 17-acre Town Center will be 95,000 square feet of retail space on the old Wickes Furniture site next
to Village Hall along Dundee Road. Preliminary agreements already have been reached with theater operator Flix Brewhouse,
Keefer’s Steakhouse, Reza’s Mediterranean Restaurant, Red Mango frozen yogurt, and Starbucks. The mixed-use project also
envisions a five-story, 300-unit luxury apartment development. A day care facility is also being considered, and other possible
tenants include a boutique grocer, a bike shop, and a deli. A village green area with a fountain and other amenities is planned in
the middle of the space. Construction is scheduled to start next summer, and is expected to be substantially complete by 2017.

The Village Board also approved a second TIF district for future  development near Chicago Executive Airport. This is an area of town that has been long overlooked for development, and now is the time. The airport is a major asset for the village, with the businesses on our side of the airport generating a total of $1,205,000 per year in sales and property tax revenue for all Wheeling taxing districts. Of that amount, the Village of Wheeling  receives approximately $455,000 per year, which includes the sales tax
revenue we receive and our share of the property tax revenue. These businesses also create over 2,400 aviation-related jobs.

Recently it was announced that the airport is in the process of updating their Airport Master Plan. To be eligible to receive Federal Airport Improvement Program funding, the airport is required to maintain and periodically update the Airport Master Plan and Layout Plan, as specified by the FAA. The goal of a Master Plan is to provide the framework needed to guide future airport development that will cost-effectively satisfy  aviation demand, while considering potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts. Per FAA guidance, periodic updates of Master Plan elements are typically needed on a five-year cycle for active airports similar to Chicago Executive. While a number of updates and studies have been conducted at Chicago Executive since acquisition by the Village of Wheeling and City of Prospect Heights in 1986, the full Master Plan was completed over 30 years ago. If we are to see what the full potential of the airport can be, this study is absolutely necessary. Any potential development that comes as a result of TIF district funds or the airport Master Plan will need to be approved by both the Wheeling Village Board and the Prospect Heights City Council, both of whom will seriously consider any and all potential impact to their residents.

As I said in a previous newsletter column, I have always believed that economic development is both a team effort and vital piece to Wheeling’s future. Those two principles have come clearly into focus during our successful negotiations with the taxing
districts. All involved realize the importance of bringing new vitality—and thus new tax dollars—to our community. Every town
in our region is working hard to bring in new development, and if we miss a beat, we fall behind. But thanks to the vision
demonstrated and actions taken by the Board of Trustees, we were able to make our collective futures a whole lot brighter. We
are thankful we can provide some appealing retail, residential, and entertainment options for our residents, as well as extra tax
revenue that will allow us to keep taxes as low as possible. I look forward to updating you in coming months on the progress of
these exciting new developments!

In closing, I’d like to give big thank you to our local businesses who contributed to our July 3 Evening Under the Stars fireworks
event: Stasek Chevrolet, Harper College, Smith Family Developers, AmVets Post 66, Atlantic Aviation, Chicago Executive  Airport, Fresh Farms, Gene’s Towing/Wheel-Inn, Kolssak Funeral Home, MB Financial, Orange Crush, Signature Flight  Support, Spears Bourbon-Burgers-Beer, Svigos Asset Management, Tuscany, Waste Management, and Wheeling Park District. Without your support, this event would not have been possible. I’d also like to thank all of the residents for their patience and cooperation during this summer’s capital improvement projects. Several neighborhoods experienced road closures/detours and  construction noise while these projects were being completed, and we are grateful for your understanding. We are truly a  community of world-class residents and businesses, and I couldn’t be more proud!

















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