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Deerbrook Project Hits Snag

Village Board delays vote on shopping center owner’s request for letter of intent. Trustees approve four-way stop at Osterman and Robert York.

hit a snag when the shopping center owner’s sales tax sharing proposal met with a split among the Village Board of Trustees at their Monday meeting.

expressed skepticism with a proposal which would allow mall owner Gateway Fairview to recover approximately two-thirds of its redevelopment cost, postponed a vote to develop consensus.

“Let’s have staff come back to us and we’ll have the pros and cons,” Rosenthal said of Deerbrook’s proposed letter of intent with the Village. “We should try to have everybody a little more comfortable.”

Deerbrook owners asked the shopping center be declared a separate business district with an additional sales tax of one percent which would be used to defray some of its development costs. Gateway Fairview would pay for the project and be partially reimbursed from the collection of the additional revenue.

“I think they’re being greedy,” Seiden said. “I don’t believe they won’t go ahead with it (if the Village does not agree to the letter of intent),” he added about his perception of the developer’s intent.

Rosenthal hopes the Board can move to the next step at its July 2 meeting when representatives of Deerbrook will return for additional questions and presentations.

In other business, the Board approved the installation of a and moved ahead with plans to grant a special use permit for a photography studio at 720 Waukegan Road.

Patch will have a more detailed story about the Deerbrook proposal Wednesday and an additional article about the stop sign hearing and other subjects discussed by the Board on Thursday.

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RonnieTheLimoDriver June 19, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Im with Farkas and Seiden. This is a bad deal all around. Why should the taxpayers fund work that the property owners should have done years ago? Without improvements, the mall is not economically viable. The owners that collected all those rent checks without spending a dime now need to dip into their previous profits, simple as that.
Mara Meyer June 19, 2012 at 01:52 PM
The stop sign is further travesity of this Village! Although certified, licensed officials stated it was unwarranted, the Trustees went ahead and again used poor judgement.
DeerfieldResident June 19, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Thank goodness there are at least two reasonable people on the board. The mall owners need to invest in the property that has been neglected for years. It's not the taxpayers job to do so. Please don't approve anything until the plan makes sense for all parties. And, please, board recognize that it's time to hire someone whose sole purpose it to attract businesses to Deerfield. Every day we don't have someone out there promoting Deerfield, we are losing out to other villages that don't have their heads stuck in the sand. This is a great, affluent community. We should be attracting new retail, not losing retail every week.
Daniel Krudop June 19, 2012 at 02:44 PM
I think the Board members should reimburse the Village for the cost of the study out of their own pockets. If they wanted to put a four-way stop there from the beginning, why pay for a study. My Mother-in-Law would ask all of her friends, siblings, children and grandchildren for advice on something she wanted to do. She would ask until someone suggested that her idea was a good one, even if everyone else said it was a bad idea. Then, when her idea didn't work out well she would complain because she did ask about it. Since this is in the same story as Deerbrook Mall, I offer the following: There is a store on Waukegan Road by the traffic signal at Chestnut. There is a drive behind that store. At one time they attempted to put a four-way stop there but that didn't last long. The accident rate there skyrocketed because the cars entering the Mall there rarely stopped. They were just too used to not having to stop there. When I was using the drive behind that store, I never expected drivers entering the Mall there to stop. I was right every time.
Anne June 19, 2012 at 02:50 PM
We don't need a stop sign....we need smarter drivers!
Thinking for the future June 19, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I applaud the (two members) of the board who are actually using their brain. I am all for enticing businesses to come to Deerfield, but this plan is beyond stupid. A private company is basically asking for a handout. Call their bluff. We'll see how long they want to hold onto a money losing venture before they sell to someone who has a real plan and wants to invest in our town. Much like these giant long term baseball contracts that always blow up, these deal towns make to attract businesses rarely pay off for anyone except the businesses that cut the deals. They will make grand promises and provide overly optimistic projections to get themselves the best deal. Cabela's was famous for this. Great book on the subject on Amazon.... http://www.amazon.com/Free-Lunch-Wealthiest-Themselves-Government/dp/B002HREKHS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340120634&sr=8-1&keywords=free+lunch+by+david+cay+johnston
Ed Collins June 19, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Hooray for Trustees Tom Jester and Alan Farkas in opposing the 4-way stop at Robert York & Osterman at Monday's Village Board meeting. While outvoted, they convinced me that no four-way stop is needed there. The existing two stops on Robert York, and the "Yield to pedestrians" sign on Osterman do the job just fine based upon the infrequent pedestrian traffic there. If, as some say, the area has a speeding problem, I'm sure our village police are capable of enforcing the law.
Deerfield resident June 19, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Here's a novel idea. If they are requesting the village to give them a tax kickback, let them pay the village a rent tax. 5% of the monthly rent per space goes back to the village. As for increasing the sales tax, the mall is already in Cook County. Increasing the tax would raise the sales tax rate to 10.25%. Vernon Hills has a tax rate of 7%.
RB June 19, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Increasing the sales tax would mean the Village residents who shop there would be paying for the redevelopment. Plus, as someone else says its high enough in Cook County as it is, it would drive people away from shopping there. It's on the boarder with Lake County. People would shop elsewhere. Makes no sense. I'm glad at least two board members saw through this. Board: don't do this!
Bringin' Down Briarwood June 19, 2012 at 09:40 PM
I'm luvin' ya, Deerfield resident, as only one Internet yahoo can love another. Thanks to Trustees Seiden and Farkas for forcing the board to take a step back and evaluate. I don't totally disagree with the village investing (although the 10.25% vs. 7% is a great argument against), but this better not be a one way street. There's a whole lot of ways this can be negotiated better for the village. I think it should start with a long-term measurement - not a simple lump sum for construction. I hope the Board is also discussing what stores will be in the new mall - not generalities. If the developer can't provide names, do not sign until they do. This whole thing has problems written all over it, and if the developer wants a TRUE partner, then terms and commitments need to be VERY clear. If the developer budges at clarity and will only invest at the same rate as the last decade, it's probably time to start negotiating with a heavier hand (zoning?).
Bringin' Down Briarwood June 19, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Steve, simple question I hope you'll ask as you talk to the Board for your next story ... What provisions are in this agreement to help protect the village's initial investment? How does the agreement ensure the developer will invest beyond initial construction and not simply pocket the money after a cheap construction?
David Greenberg June 20, 2012 at 03:33 AM
For 10.25% you'd better believe that your tax revenues will DECREASE rather than increase as you drive shoppers away from the mall. For a small item, sure, maybe it won't be worth the gas to drive to someplace else. But for something larger, where the taxes start to make a difference? Yep - might as well drive to another store, or oh, I don't know - buy online and have it shipped in? The use tax is still less than 10.25%... And using the money to pay off the cost of the development? HA! This is modus operandi for developers folks - use other people's money, then if the project fails, oh well... Let them put up 100% of their own money, or tell them to forget the whole thing. Kudos to the Trustees who said no...
J.Lyn June 20, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Ed... I live on the corner of York and Osterman... I can personally attest that there is a speeding problem on Osterman. I see it daily. If the village police are capable of enforcing the law they have not done such. Personally I think they have better things to concentrate on...and they must...because the speed limit is not enforced. A stop sign is very much needed...because one of these days someone is not going to yield to that pedestrian and the village will have a tragedy to contend with.

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