Article Published by The Beacon-News | View Article
Author: Steve Lord
Aurora wants to increase the size of a redevelopment zone already partly responsible for some big redevelopment projects in the city.
Aldermen on the City Council’s Building, Zoning and Economic Development Committee recently recommended expanding the River Edge Redevelopment Zone, a state program designed to help old river cities redevelop older properties. Aldermen recommended an expansion, but will recommend new suggested boundaries for the zone after studying just how far they want it to go.
Historic properties inside the zone are eligible for state historic tax credits, and Aurora has had such a redevelopment zone since the state first allowed it about seven years ago. Aurora was not only the first city among five river towns in the state to use the zone, it was the first to expand it, which it has done twice before.
“We expanded it,” said Trevor Dick, the city’s director of development strategy and facilitation. “If we want to expand it to an area you decide on, I think we can do that and should.”
Dick said the state legislation has never included any limit on just how far from the river a River Edge Redevelopment Zone can go. The only limitation is that it includes only five cities in the state: Aurora, Elgin, Rockford, East St. Louis and Peoria.
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The ability to get state tax credits from being in the zone has been key to such redevelopment projects underway as the old Copley Hospital campus, the Keystone Building, the Terminal Building, the former West Aurora Administration Building and the Hobbs Building.
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