WOODSTOCK, IL-This city on the far northwest suburban fringe is a step closer to redeveloping an 11-acre site north of the Town Square, a backdrop immortalized in the movie “Ground Hog Day.” The city council Tuesday night directed staff members to prepare the necessary ordinance to sell up to $2.75 million in general obligation bonds, paving the way for infrastructure and environmental cleanup of the former Die Cast property.

No one spoke for or against the bond issue at a public hearing Tuesday night. The bond sale is expected to be approved by the city council next month, with new streets among the improvements scheduled to follow next summer.

Because of its location near a Metra commuter station, a “transit-oriented” development already is envisioned by the city council, which is moving to rezone the vacant property from manufacturing use to a mixed-use scheme that would allow for town houses, retail space and park space. City officials believe they can have the property ready for sale to a developer in the latter half of 2003.

Under a September rezoning, the northern two-thirds of the site is earmarked for residential use while the southern third is slated to see retail development.

Council members, as well as plan commission members, have expressed some differences on how dense the development will be, as well as how heavy the residential component should be. About 150 units have been proposed for the site.

The general obligation bonds would be repaid through tax increment financing, city officials say.

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