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Plan to spur development at Southridge moves forward

Proposal would divide part of parking lot for future use

Dec. 23, 2009

Greendale — Officials hope a land division plan on the southern end of Southridge Mall property will help spur new development at the mall.

The proposal from the mall's owners, Simon Property Group, calls for 43.7 acres to be split into four separate parcels on land that is now a parking lot bordering Grange Avenue.

Village officials want that land to become marketable for development, Village Manager Todd Michaels said. Two months ago, officials discussed the issue with Simon and had hoped to see progress by the end of the year.

But little progress was made, so Michaels initiated the land division plan as a way to preserve existing restrictions while also allowing the owners to come back with a proposal.

Some Plan Commission members worried about potential ramifications, like Simon selling the parcels. But the special-use restrictions that remain would mean the village still gets the right to approve any development, said Patrick Meehan, the village's planning consultant.

"We're in the driver's seat the whole way," he said.

The proposal will help a potential tax-incremental financing district, should the village decide to create one, that would further help lure developers, Michaels said.

TIF districts allow municipalities to borrow money to fund infrastructure improvements and use the new tax increment generated to pay off the loan.

The mall's owners and village officials have discussed the future of the site with potential developers but have not finalized anything. Types of new development could include a variety of things - with the sour economy, it is important to not to discount anything, Michaels said.

The Plan Commission unanimously recommended the Board of Trustees approve the land division plan. The Village Board will hold a public hearing on the plan Tuesday and could vote on it after the hearing.

Village President John Hermes said the plan is about keeping options open.

"You have the potential of generating new interest into the Southridge southern portion of the mall," he said during the Plan Commission meeting. "This is a good step."

THE NEXT STEP

WHAT: Public hearing on Southridge Mall land division plan

WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Village Hall, 6500 Northway

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