By: Diane Benjamin
In March I posted a story concerning the “luxury” apartments in the new building on Uptown Circle: https://blnnews.com/2018/03/17/more-on-uptown-circle/
At that time Zillow showed 16 apartments for rent. It now shows 14 ranging from $1650 and month to $4200: https://www.zillow.com/b/1-uptown-circle-normal-il-9J8XNH/
Public Comment on items other than the Welcoming Ordinance was at the beginning of the meeting. One ISU graduate student appeared to speak against extending the Uptown TIF because he and his wife can’t afford to live in Uptown. His wife, an ISU grad, is an assistant general manager at Green Top. Hit PLAY to hear his comments:
The TIF discussion did not take place until after the Welcoming Ordinance – fast forward to 2:33:00
According to TIF reports the Town of Normal filed with the Comptroller’s office as of 3/31/2017: ftp://ftp.illinoiscomptroller.com/LocGovTIF/FY2017/06409531/17TIF06409531Downtown_volpment_1.pdf
Equalized Assessed Value increased in Uptown $23,615,746.
The Council documentation claims the EAV has increased $26.4 million, so they must have more current numbers that we may not see for a year. PDF page 66 http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2958
How much did it cost to get an increase of $26.4 million?
This slide was presented:
All of the Public Investment is tax money, regardless of the source: $129,000,000.
This was declared a great success last night.
The Council voted to extend the TIF because three parcels have yet to be developed. They will begin sharing the increased EAV with the other taxing bodies that haven’t had any benefits so far – like Unit 5.
The existing $90 million debt (not including interest) is not scheduled to be paid off until 2041, according to this link:
The TIF lost money last year, we don’t know from last night’s discussion where the money to pay off the bonds will come from once other taxing bodies start sharing the wealth.
Back to affordable housing:
Koos made it clear the TIF did nothing encourage the “luxury” apartments in Uptown. Somebody at the Town of Normal had to approve the building plans and permit. The developer was given the land and Normal rented an entire floor just to get it built. I wonder if anybody questioned $4200 a month apartments? Was that to prevent RiffRaff from living in Uptown? Koos did make the point that low and moderate income housing was the goal of Uptown 2.0 – the other side of the tracks.
If anyone present saw the irony in that statement, they didn’t say it publicly.
The Library in Uptown 2.0 is on hold, nothing is happening with the rest of the plan either. The Town didn’t get a Tiger grant for the underpass.
Normal will hand out $3000 grants to buy a home in Normal – until the fund runs out of money.
Obviously there is a need for affordable housing in Normal. If the need exists, why isn’t a private company building it? Are developers being stopped because they aren’t the “right fit”?