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CHICAGO-An area that is among the last to get a tax increment financing district is finally getting one that could inject $25 million worth of improvements as well as quickly spur residential and retail development. The 119th Street/I-57 redevelopment area is in the 34th Ward, one of the last to receive a TIF designation, which have become ubiquitous in other city neighborhoods.

The community development commission’s recent recommendation for the TIF district goes to the city council, where approval is expected.

William James, a principal with consulting firm Camiros, Ltd., expects the designation to grow an equalized assessed valuation in a 317-acre area that now stands at $16 million to $50 million during the 23-year life of the TIF. In addition, the city has been in discussions with developers of a residential development at 122nd Street and Ashland Avenue as well as a retail project nearby.

The area bounded roughly by 107th and 123rd streets, the Rock Island Railroad tracks and Racine Avenue now contains a mix of commercial, residential and industrial uses. However, the city has targeted 144 parcels, all but six of them vacant land or buildings, as potential acquisitions to help spur redevelopment efforts. In addition, 72% of the buildings within the proposed TIF district are considered deteriorated while 74% are below city codes, according to the department of planning and development.

Paula Robinson, involved in a project to spur commercial redevelopment on 111th Street, says the tax increment financing proposal could help build a mixed-use development there that would include commercial use as well as affordable housing.

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