Two property tax incentives and a resolution clarifying how recent changes to the Class 6(b) application at the County level impacts Chicago are up for consideration by the Council’s Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development. The resolution introduced by Ald. Emma Mitts (37) last June defines new requirements for aldermen who issue resolutions of support for Class 6(b) property tax incentives–including prior approval from the Department of Planning and Development.

The program, which is operated by the Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios’ Office, gives local businesses the opportunity to waive a portion of their property taxes if they commit to covering the cost of rehabbing existing vacant and dilapidated industrial property within the county. Cook County recently updated its rules for considering such applications. The changes require recipients to enter into an agreement with the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership over the life of the incentive with the goal of boosting employment rates by advertising job vacancies through the workforce partnership. (A synopsis on the County changes can be found here. A copy of the measure with the red line changes noted can be found here)

Under the new rules, an alderman would need prior approval from the city’s Department of Planning and Development. In making their determination, DPD would review how the incentive would increase employment opportunities for the applicant and how much revenue the property would generate. The resolution has a built in sunset date of August 1, 2019.

  • Bridgewater Studios Inc. (1713 W. 35th St. – 12th Ward) – A class 6(b) incentive that would support the $800,000 acquisition and renovation of a vacant industrial building in McKinley Park. The custom design and fabric business is seeking a reduction in property taxes to renovate the 60-year-old, 13,000-square-foot structure. Once complete, Bridgewater Studios will relocate from their existing location on the Near West Side with plans to double the number of its employees to 20. The company would save $193,000 in property taxes over 12 years.
  • 1455 Willow Adventures LLC (1455 W. Willow St.) – A joint venture of Local Foods, HandCut Foods and Carbon Green companies is seeking a renewal of a Class 6(b) for a 28,000-square-foot facility in the North Branch Industrial Corridor. The LLC purchased the property in 2013 and has already invested $5 million in structural repairs and mechanical upgrades. The projected tax savings over the 12-year period are estimated at $387,000. An original tax incentive on the property was issued in 1996 and renewed in 2006 by a previous owner. It’s unclear how the city’s ongoing efforts to overhaul the corridor’s manufacturing designation would impact this business or the Class 6(b).