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.

July - August

From the Desk of President Dean S. Argiris

In the last newsletter, I told you about exciting new developments that will help transform the Dundee Road corridor into a dynamic downtown if they are allowed to move forward. These developments rely on Tax Increment Financing (TIF), a proven economic development tool, to make them a reality.
This is something I want Wheeling residents to get excited about, so it’s been great to see the flurry of news coverage about the two new TIF districts that the Village is establishing. I’d like to give you more information about TIF, and to clarify some of the points discussed in those news reports.

Economic development is the lifeblood of Wheeling. Our community is blessed with many advantages. We have a wonderful location in the metropolitan area, with many shopping, transportation, and restaurant options, as well as great housing stock and hard-working people. But like every similar suburban town, Wheeling needs to grow. If we are not growing, we are declining—especially in an economy that remains weak. I recently learned a startling fact: nearly eight times more retail space was developed in the metro area in 2006 than in 2013, which means it’s now far more difficult for communities to attract development. Quality development brings obvious advantages, including not only new shopping, entertainment, and housing amenities, but also new tax revenue that helps the Village and other taxing districts pay for vital services while keeping taxes as low as possible. That is
exactly the game plan with these new TIF districts.

TIF districts have helped Wheeling grow. At the June 2 Village Board meeting I made a presentation that showed how TIF has been successful in Wheeling. Considered together, our TIF districts helped bring $44 million in value to the tax rolls— and much or all of that new development wouldn’t have happened without TIF. Keep in mind that Wheeling is far from unique in putting TIF to work as an economic development tool: TIFs are common in municipalities all over Illinois and in many other states. When used responsibly, like they have been in Wheeling, TIFs help improve the quality of life for all our residents.

TIF is strictly regulated in Wheeling. Our creation of the two new TIFs has not come without controversy. Representatives from the schools and other taxing districts have suggested that the Village is trying to get around Illinois TIF laws by creating new districts in the same location as previous districts. The Village takes these concerns very seriously, and would never proceed on a path that conflicts with the law. Our team of experts has carefully researched this issue and advised us that our new TIF districts are proper, ethical, and entirely consistent with legal requirements. Simply put, the law allows TIF to be used in areas where conditions show that it is needed—which is clearly the case in our two new districts. The Village is the only governmental entity with the statutory tools to promote economic development: it’s our role under the law, and also our responsibility. We are disappointed that the other taxing districts have indicated that they may challenge our new TIFs in court. Although they certainly have a right to do so, we think this course of action would be terribly unproductive and damaging,  potentially derailing upcoming development to no one’s benefit. I believe our residents want us to work together to better our community, not to waste taxpayer dollars in litigation while key areas continue to deteriorate from neglect. I hope we can avoid that outcome.

Economic development is a team effort. Attracting quality development while keeping existing businesses is a top priority for the Village—the key to future prosperity for our community. A healthy, prosperous Wheeling helps the other taxing districts within our boundaries prosper, too. Without new development, the schools, parks, and library will strain to provide the services that Wheeling residents rely on. We are all part of the same quilt; we prosper or decline together. Despite our differences on
this current issue, the Village works closely with all the taxing districts, and will continue to do so in the future.

As a reminder, the Village’s two new TIF districts will be the Southeast-II District and the Town Center-II District. The first district includes Wheeling’s portion of Chicago Executive Airport and surrounding industrial and residential areas, some of which still lack water and sewer connections. The second district includes all the property along the north and south sides of Dundee Road between Wolf Road and Jack London Middle School, the site of major upcoming projects. On the vacant site next to the Village Hall, developers plan to build Wheeling Town Center, which will include 100,000 square feet of retail space, Flix Brewhouse (a first run movie/dinner theater), and 300 high-end apartment units. A second developer is prepared to build Northgate Crossings, a community of 288 high-end apartment units on the former Kenny Construction site on Northgate Parkway. These two projects will add nearly 600 new residences to the town center within walking distance of the Wheeling Metra Station. This TIF district will also give us the ability to revitalize retail areas such as the vacant former Kmart site at Dundee and Elmhurst roads. Redevelopment in these new TIF districts will ultimately result in new public revenues that increase our ability to provide needed services while reducing the tax burden on our citizens.

As your Village President, I am committed to making the future brighter for the Village of Wheeling and its residents. These two new TIF districts are essential ingredients of that brighter future—they represent our best chance to keep our community
vibrant and successful for years to come. I hope you join me in enthusiastically supporting these projects, and I look forward
to updating you on them in the months ahead.

I’d like to give a big congratulations to Taylor Plumbing, which recently celebrated 100 years of business. Taylor Plumbing has been based in Wheeling since 2004, and we couldn’t be more proud to have them as part of our business community. I’d also like to welcome Precision Zone, which recently moved into their newly-rehabilitated location at 100 Chaddick Drive. The Board and I are excited about these new and continued relationships with our area manufacturers and industrial community.

Lastly, save the date for the Taste of the Town 2014 which is being held on Wednesday, October 29. This event will feature live music and entertainment, as well as food and wine tastings from the most popular Restaurant Row names including Bob Chinn’s, Cooper’s Hawk, Tuscany, and many more. More information will be available in the next newsletter and posted on the WPH Chamber of Commerce’s website, www.wphchamber.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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