Now that the snow is a distant memory and the trees are green again, our thoughts here at the Village turn to summer and all the many projects we have going on downtown aimed at giving the area a much-needed shot in the arm.
The Village recently created the New Bremen Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District, an exciting new source of revenue that’s bounded by 172nd Street on the north, 179th Street on the south, 67th Avenue and 66th Court on the east, and 69th Avenue on the west. At about 89 acres, the new TIF district consists of 275 tax parcels and includes commercial, residential, government/institutional, mixed-use, railroad and right-of-way land uses.
The New Bremen TIF replaces the Main Street South TIF, which was created in 2003 and was set to expire in 2026 after its 23-year life cycle had run its course. Due in part to the 2007 recession, which greatly hindered development in the area, the remaining eight years left on the TIF were insufficient to allow any meaningful development to occur. In response, the Village decided to create the New Bremen TIF in order to give a new set of 23 incremental tax years to support redevelopment and infrastructure improvements in Downtown Tinley, allowing the Village to utilize this valuable economic tool to its full potential.
The Village worked closely with our local school districts and park district in planning this TIF, and they were all supportive of it. It’s next to impossible for a TIF to be successful without this support, and we’re grateful to the schools and parks for their cooperation.
It’s important to note that, without this TIF, several important downtown projects wouldn’t be possible. Among these are the new Banging Gavel, whose architects are finalizing their plans for submittal this summer, as well as several mixed-use, upscale residential developments that are expected to go to the Plan Commission soon.
Residential developments are the key to a successful downtown. This fact is evidenced by a recent study conducted by the Lakota Group on behalf of Tinley Park as part of our Harmony Square downtown plaza development. Lakota looked at other suburban downtowns that are successful such as Glenview, Elmhurst and Arlington Heights that have significantly higher residential and business populations than Tinley Park and found that residential housing is one of the reasons for their success.
The Village Board also recently approved the Oak Park Playbook, series of five grants specifically designed to encourage Downtown Tinley business owners to invest in and improve their respective properties. These grants will be funded by the New Bremen TIF and include facade improvement, code compliance, signs, retail and landscape improvements. More information is available at www.tinleypark.org/playbook.
Another upcoming initiative is phase two of the Freedom Pond project, which will include a storm sewer connection design to facilitate the Harmony Square, North Street and former Central Middle School property redevelopments. The New Bremen TIF provides a means to finance improvements like these without impacting the general taxpayers of the Village, as well as creates an environment favorable for redevelopment to occur.
The TIF will also help fund Downtown Tinley intersection improvements such as relocating the sanitary sewer trunk line for future development, water main replacement and storm sewer relocation near the former Bremen Cash Store lot, realigning the intersection of Oak Park Avenue and 67th Court, and parking lot improvements in the commuter parking lot on the south side of the tracks.
Finally, planning for the new Harmony Square music plaza is moving along nicely, with phase-one groundbreaking planned for next year. While the construction is being funded from other sources besides the New Bremen TIF, the plaza is another critical element of the development of the new Downtown Tinley that will complement and support the future look of our downtown.
'For the Record' archive
- 'For the Record' (June 2, 2016)
- Description: In this inaugural 'For the Record' column, Village Manager Dave Niemeyer addresses an allegation that claims the Village hasn't been collecting on the value of its recyclable materials for 26 years.
- 'For the Record' (Oct. 20, 2016)
- Description: Village Manager Dave Niemeyer discusses the hiring of two outside experts to help improve the efficiency of Village staff and ensure the Village is paying competitive but fair salaries and benefits to its employees.
- 'For the Record' (Nov. 3, 2016)
- Description: Village Manager Dave Niemeyer addresses the possibility of extending the sidewalks along the south side of 175th Street east of Ridgeland Avenue.
- 'For the Record' (Jan. 26, 2017)
- Description: Village Manager Dave Niemeyer discusses the Village's new strategic plan, will guide the Village for years to come and provides several key benefits.
- 'For the Record' (March 2, 2017)
- Description: Village Manager Dave Niemeyer discusses an ordinance passed by the Village Board that opts out of recent Cook County laws increasing the minimum wage for anyone employed in the county.
- 'For the Record' (Nov. 9, 2017)
- Description: Village Manager Dave Niemeyer discusses some exciting new plans the Village has for Downtown Tinley, including the new Harmony Square plaza development.