Grand Avenue TIF Redevelopment District

The Village strives to be responsive to its residents, and the Grand Avenue business district has long been a source of concern to residents, as well as the Village. After listening sessions with residents and community stakeholders, the Village Board prioritized the redevelopment of Grand Avenue as a goal of the Village’s Strategic Plan. To revitalize the Grand Avenue corridor, the Village of Lindenhurst took the necessary steps to designate much of this area as a Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) district. The Village believes that without this redevelopment tool, opportunity and vitality much needed in this particular area may not occur. With the TIF, the Village endeavors to redevelop the Grand Avenue business corridor into a modern, more appealing commercial district. The Grand Avenue TIF District is defined as the 126.6-acre area between Deep Lake Road and Village Hall along Grand Avenue.  The TIF District contains 110 parcels and 78 buildings in total. 

Tax Incremental Financing (TIF)tif district - Copy
TIF is a mechanism for municipalities to spur economic development in specific geographic areas that are blighted and deteriorating. To do this, local taxing bodies create a TIF redevelopment project area, or TIF district, whereby the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of the property in the area is set at a base amount. A tax increment is the difference between the amount of property tax revenue generated before TIF district designation and the amount of property tax revenue generated after TIF designation. 
Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) helps local governments attract private development and new businesses. New businesses mean more jobs, more customers, and, in turn, more private investment. TIF designation also helps retain existing businesses that might otherwise find more attractive options elsewhere. The jobs and additional investment, private and public, mean more money for the community. TIF also helps to overcome the extraordinary costs that often prevent the development and private investment from occurring on environmentally contaminated and other properties, and it’s also used where infrastructure is inadequate, or there is obsolete development. As a result, the TIF area itself improves, and property values go up.

To learn more about Tax Increment Financing, visit the TIF FAQs page or the Illinois Tax Increment Association’s web page

View TIF Related Documents

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this service, please contact Clay Johnson.
Grand Avenue TIF Information
Why did the Village Establish a TIF District?
Examining ways to redevelop and revitalize the Grand Avenue corridor was identified as a priority by the Village Board and staff through the Village’s strategic planning process in 2020. Whether formally or informally, the condition of certain structures along the corridor and perceived lack of vibrancy is one of the most frequent complaints the Village fields on a regular basis.

The Village selected Teska Associates to conduct a tax increment finance (TIF) study for Grand Avenue in September of 2020.  The purpose of the study was to determine if the required, statutorily defined standards for utilizing TIF were present along the corridor. Setting out exclusively to establish a TIF was not the Village’s overall approach.  The Village discussed other options for redevelopment with Teska during this process, but it was determined that other redevelopment mechanisms would not provide the amount of funding impact required to make need and substantial change along the corridor. While TIF will not be a panacea to cure all the ills of the current conditions of the corridor, it does boost our ability to compete with other jurisdictions that may have other development advantages that Lindenhurst may be unable to replicate.
What steps did the Village take to establish the Grand Avenue TIF?
The Village selected Teska Associates to conduct a tax increment finance (TIF) study for Grand Avenue in September of 2020. The purpose of the study was to determine if the required, statutorily-defined standards for utilizing TIF were present along the corridor. This Project Area or “Project” is defined as the 126.6 acre area between Deep Lake Road and Village Hall along Grand Avenue.  The Project Area contains 110 parcels and 78 buildings in total. 

A major milestone was reached when the eligibility study was provided by Teska about two months later on February 22nd.  An eligibility study is determining if defined characteristics indicating why the proposed area may not be meeting its full development potential exist. Such characteristics include:
  • Obsolete platting of vacant land
  • Tax delinquency
  • Deterioration of structures
  • Diminishing Equalized Assessed Value (EAV)
  • Excessive vacancies
  • Building obsolescence
  • Code violations
  • Lack of community planning
  • Environmental Remediation
The report from Teska indicated that the Grand Avenue corridor is eligible for TIF designation by meeting the State’s definition of a conservation area.  A “conservation area” must not only exhibit three of the characteristics such as those mentioned earlier, but more than 50% of the proposed area’s structures must be thirty-five (35) years or older.  First, Teska’s study determined that 78% of the structures within the proposed Project Area were greater than 35 years old.  The study also identified the presence and prevalence of following characteristics along Grand Avenue:  dilapidation, deterioration, excessive vacancy, obsolescence, and decline in EAV.  While the report provides photos and explanations of the condition of many structures within the Grand Avenue corridor, the most telling of the eligibility factors is the decline in the project area’s EAV.  To meet eligibility standards, the project area’s EAV must decline or have “minimal marginal increase.”  Usually the latter is defined as an EAV for the project area that increases at a slower rate than the rest of the community or the Consumer Price Index over a five year period.  However in our case, the project area’s EAV has declined by 1.8% between tax year 2016 and 2021, while the remainder of the Village’s EAV has increased by about 15% in the same time period. 

The Village Board accepted the eligibility report and authorized the completion of the redevelopment plan, the next milestone in establishing a tax increment finance district. In July 2021, the Village Board, in consultation with Teska and the Plan Commission, developed a set of broad, aspirational improvements to help bring vitality to the corridor.  This included landscaping improvements, redevelopment of Slove Park, possibilities for development, and the addition of non-vehicular amenities. 

On December 2nd, 2021, the Village sent mailers out to all property owners within the proposed TIF district regarding a town hall meeting to occur at Village Hall.  In that meeting, the Village would present information about the Grand Avenue Corridor TIF and answer any questions. 

Additional milestones which occurred in the TIF approval process include:

  • The Village Board set the public hearing for the TIF at the January 24th regular meeting for March 21st. This “started the statutory clock” on getting the Grand Avenue TIF approved.
  • Notice to taxing bodies for the Joint Review Board meeting went out on February 4th.
  • Notice to residents regarding the public hearing and other TIF information went out to residents within 750 feet of the district on February 18th.
  • The Joint Review Board meeting occurred which included representatives of all overlapping taxing bodies on March 1, 2022. The Joint Review Board voted 8-0 to recommend the implementation of a TIF along Grand Avenue to the Village Board.  The representative of Grayslake CHSD #127 abstained.
  • Notices of the public hearing for the TIF appeared in the Daily Herald twice – one on February 28, 2022 and the second on March 7, 2022.
  • The Village conducted the public hearing regarding the TIF at a special meeting on March 21, 2022.
  • The Village adopted three ordinances implementing the Grand Avenue TIF District. The ordinances presented 5/9/2022 and approved handle three different aspects of establishing the Grand Avenue Tax Increment Financing District Redevelopment Project. the ordinances covered: 
    • Approving a Redevelopment Plan and Project for the Grand Avenue District Redevelopment Project Area – This ordinance adopts the Redevelopment Plan and Project as proposed by Teska Associates.  This is the same redevelopment plan that was discussed at the March 21, 2022 public hearing.
    • Designating the Grand Avenue District Redevelopment Project Area Pursuant to the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act – As the name suggests, this ordinance establishes the official boundaries of the TIF District.
    • Adopting Tax Increment Allocation Financing for the Grand Avenue District Redevelopment Project Area – The final ordinance establishes that tax increment financing is the mechanism that will assist in the redevelopment of the previously defined area.  This allows the incremental taxes that arise from the value of improvements within the corridor to be transferred to the Village for statutorily defined uses within the corridor and in accordance with our redevelopment plan.
What can TIF money be used for?
TIF funds may be used for costs associated with the development or redevelopment of property within the TIF, allowing blighted, declining, and underperforming areas to again become viable and allowing these areas to compete with vacant land at the edge of urban areas. Typical projects include:
  • Redevelopment of substandard, obsolete, or vacant buildings 
  • Financing general public infrastructure improvements, including streets, sewer, water, and the like, in declining areas
  • Cleaning up polluted areas
  • Improving the viability of downtown business districts
  • Providing infrastructure needed to develop a site for new industrial or commercial use
  • Rehabilitating historic properties
Do other communities use TIF?
Yes! Please see below for a list of surrounding communities that have utilized TIF.
Where can I find TIF Legislation?
What type of costs can TIF money cover?
The eligible uses for TIF funds are provided in Illinois’ Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act, also known as the TIF Act. The Illinois TIF Act generally authorizes that TIF funds may be used for the following:

  • Administration of a TIF redevelopment project
  • Property acquisition
  • Rehabilitation or renovation of existing public or private buildings
  • Construction of public works or improvements
  • Job training
  • Relocation
  • Financing costs, including interest assistance
  • Studies, surveys and plans
  • Marketing sites within the TIF
  • Professional services, such as architectural, engineering, legal and financial planning
  • Demolition and site preparation
  • Some restrictions may apply, so review the full Act for the list of TIF-eligible cost