Aurora officials are looking at a deal with a developer that wants to remodel a plaza on the far East Side into what they say would be the largest Asian-oriented shopping center in the United States.
Pacific Square LLC, is proposing remodeling and redesigning the Yorkshire Shopping Center, on the north side of East New York Street, just west of Route 59, into the Pacific Square Asian Shopping Center.
Yorkshire includes several larger stores, including a Best Buy, but has a lot of vacant, smaller units. Pacific Square would redesign and attract new uses to those buildings, according to Aurora officials.
Aurora officials were set to discuss details of the development this week with the Indian Prairie School District 204 Board. To facilitate the development, the city would propose several incentives, including the potential of an eventual tax increment financing district.
According to a memo from David Dibo, executive director of the Aurora mayor’s Office of Economic Development, to the school board, after effects of the recession and changes in retail spending have caused a well-documented over-supply of retail spaces along retail corridors such as Route 59.
“Against this backdrop, the city has been working with Pacific Square in what we believe is an exciting, timely and extremely creative means not only to address these trends, but to energize a corridor in a manner that can very well be trend setting on a national basis,” Dibo said in the memo.
The city is planning several inducements for the project, Dibo said. One would be establishment of a Business Improvement District, which would allow up to a 1 percent sales tax to be placed on purchases there. The city would also plan a sales tax sharing agreement with the developer. The city would rebate a portion of the sales taxes up to a specific point.
City officials also have had discussions about a tax increment financing district with Pacific Square, although Dibo said it would not include the about 365,000 square feet of existing retail space.
He referred to is as “a place holder” for a possible second or third phase of the project which could include new office and retail uses.
Dibo said there are no detailed plans yet, so the economics of potential uses are not known. He estimated the amount of the total inducements from the city would be about $15 million.
According to some ideas floated in the material provided the school board, the new center could include a supermarket and food court, dining and entertainment spots, green space and a garden, educational and beauty and spa type of uses.