At last week’s get-together about TIFs, I was asked if I could cite an example of at least one good TIF deal somewhere in the city.
Tough question–especially after a beer (I’m really not much of a drinker). At that exact moment I couldn’t think of any.
Well, I might have a candidate down in Pullman on the far south side. That’s where Ninth Ward alderman Anthony Beale is proposing the creation of the North Pullman Tax Increment Financing District in order to fund the redevelopment of the abandoned 220-acre Ryerson Steel site. If all goes well, the TIF will help pay for a mixed-used community of homes, industry, shopping, a community center, and a big-box retailer.
Of course, based on the history of TIF projects in this city, I’m suspicious. But at least the community is blighted, as opposed to–to pick one example–the west Loop, where the city recently agreed to spend $6 million helping MillerCoors move its corporate headquarters.
The Community Development Commission will hold a hearing on the proposal on May 12, Beale says. Let’s see if the city can manage to avoid screwing this one up.
We’ll be watching.