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CHICAGO-The developer of the Clybourn Tech Center expects to reach agreement soon with city officials on TIF financing for its $70-million redevelopment of the Artmark Building at 1840 N. Clybourn.

“I expect that TIF financing will come in somewhere between $10 million and $12 million for the project,” says Mark Matthews, principal at the Argent Group, which is redeveloping the Artmark Building in conjunction with the technology subsidiary of Finkel Steel. “The TIF should be in place by early October, so we will begin on the project by the middle of the month.”

Alderwoman Vi Daley, in whose 43rd Ward the project falls, says she wants to see the redevelopment move ahead and has been working closely with the Community Development Council on the TIF proposal. Argent and Finkel had originally proposed $18 million in TIF financing for the project.

The new Clybourn Tech Center will have a total of 380,000-sf of leasable space, 200,000-sf of which will be reserved for telecom hotel use. The rest of the space will be targeted at high-tech office use and retail. Matthews says Argent has already signed a national bookseller and a national restaurant chain to the retail space.

“The building will have the very latest in broadband connections,” says Matthews. “There are natural synergies with a totally lit building and high-tech office use.”

The development is being done in conjunction with Finkel Technology, a subsidiary of Finkel Steel that has developed production management software for mid-sized industrial concerns. Finkel Steel is a major landowner in the area and has a strong interest in seeing development that increases property values in the vicinity. If Clybourn Tech Center is a success, it is expected to provide a major impetus for further development along the Clybourn corridor.

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