The Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development approved roughly $3.3M in property tax breaks over twelve years for Chicago-based companies looking to expand on dilapidated industrial sites yesterday.

Members also advanced Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s four appointees to the Community Development Commission (CDC), an independent body that oversees the city’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts and Special Redevelopment Areas. One of the appointees, Gwendolyn Butler, was absent from the meeting, but the committee approved her nomination anyway.

Committee Members Present: (10/20 members) – Vice Chairman Leslie Hairston (5), Joe Moreno (1), Gregory Mitchell (7), Patrick Daley Thompson (11), Toni Foulkes (16), David Moore (17), Michael Scott, Jr. (24), Jason Ervin (28), Gilbert Villegas (36), John Arena (45)

Three of Mayor Emanuel’s four nominees to the Community Development Commission (CDC) made brief statements before the Committee quickly approved their appointments. Other than Ald. David Moore (17) asking each appointee to explain what they expect to bring to the board, few questions were asked. Each appointee spoke for less than five minutes.

Cornelius Griggs, a native of the Austin community on Chicago’s West Side, told aldermen he has served on Chicago’s Community Land Trust, in addition to working for TRIO, a national organization that lobbies in Washington, D.C. on behalf of low income students.

Griggs was followed by Celena Roldan Moreno, the Executive Director of Erie Neighborhood House and 1st Ward Ald. Joe Moreno’s wife. When Ald. Moore asked Roldan Moreno to explain what she brings to the table, Moreno said she brings “an important community perspective of what it means to do community development,” and is familiar with the needs of low income, vulnerable populations. Ald. Joe Moreno (1) invoked Rule 14 and abstained from voting to approve his wife to the 15 member panel.

The third appointee, Philip Alphonse, gave a brief synopsis of his resume, highlighting his experience founding The Vistria Group, a private equity firm that manages $350 million and focuses on education, healthcare, and financial services. Alphonse has lived in Chicago for 13 years and lives in Roscoe Village.

The Committee also approved four Class 6(b) real estate tax incentives for several Chicago-based companies interested in expanding their operations. Most of the companies started in the Fulton Market district, but can no longer afford rent in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.

The class 6(b) real estate tax incentive is intended to reduce vacant industrial real estate in Cook County by providing businesses with a lower tax rate if they commit to rehabbing existing buildings or constructing new industrial property. Properties given the designation are assessed at 10% of market value for the first 10 years, 15% in the 11th year and 20% the 12th year. Industrial buildings that don’t receive the designation are assessed at 25% of market value. And while the following resolutions list the corresponding aldermen for the ward in which the property is located as the sponsor, this press release attributes the applications to the Mayor.

Altogether, the applicants plan to spend more than $16M renovating or building on those sites.

Economy Packing Company
R2015-568 | 4501 W. 42nd Place |  23rd Ward

According to the testimony from John Malloy, with the Department of Planning and Development, the applicant, Economy Packing Company, seeks a Class 6(b) Property Tax Incentive for the acquisition and rehabilitation of the 96,000 sq ft. warehouse on 4501 W. 42nd Place. Founded in 1932 and originally located in Fulton Market, Economy Packing Company is a wholesale distributor of fresh and frozen foods, and a poultry processor. It recently acquired Sam’s Meat.

Both companies will move into the space formerly occupied by Kronos Euro, a Mediterranean food distributor that relocated out of Chicago in 2009, Malloy said. Economy Packing will spend approximately $4.9 million in renovations. If the Class 6(b) designation is approved by the full City Council, the company is estimated to save approximately $1.2 million dollars in property taxes over the 12 year incentive period.

REWL Venture, LLC on behalf of Marilyn Miglin, LP
R2015-571 | 315-321 N. Loomis St., 324 N. Odgen Ave. | 27th Ward

Marilyn Engwall, with the Department of Planning and Development, testified on behalf of the applicant, REWL Venture, a limited liability company created in 2013 for the redevelopment of the project site on 315 N. Loomis St. The applicant has spent $1.9 million on upgrading the three-story, 21,00 sq ft facility for Marilyn Miglin, LP, a Chicago-based beauty products company started in 1963. The company has already leased 65% of its available space and plans to use the facility as a warehouse and distribution center. The company will save approximately $261,000 in property taxes if the designation is approved by the City Council.

Wichita Packing Co; Elizabeth St. Partners, LLC
R2015-573 | 340 N. Oakley Blvd; 333-340 N. Claremont | 27th Ward

Chicago-based Wichita Packing Company, a pork ribs processor and distributor, seeks a property tax incentive to help buy and rehab a 50,000 sq ft building on 340 N. Claremont Ave, on the Near West Side. Founded nearly a decade ago, the company was originally located in the Fulton Market District, and is interested in expanding its facilities. According to Essie Banks, with the Department of Planning and Development, the applicant plans to spend $4.1 million on renovations and would save $477,691 on property taxes over the next 12 years if the designation is approved the City Council.

4GP, LLC on behalf of Primrose Candy Company
R2015-570 -1800-1856 N. Kostner Ave.; 4419 W. Cortland St. | 36th Ward

Marilyn Engwall, with the Department of Planning and Development, also testified on behalf of Primrose Candy Company, a 4th generation family owned business specializing in hard candy and popcorn confections. The property tax incentive would help support the $5.2 million rehabilitation of a 151,000 sq ft building in Hermosa, in addition to potentially saving the company $1.373 million in property taxes over the next 12 years.