TIF approved for firemen's memorial, community center
Peter Strazzabosco 312.744.9267
Mayor Richard M. Daley's plan to use Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to build a fireman's memorial park in Beverly and a community recreational facility on the Near North Side were approved today by the Chicago City Council.
"TIF is the City’s most versatile and effective economic development tool," said Mayor Richard M. Daley. “It is important that we continue to invest in our park infrastructure as these facilities play a significant role in the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”
The memorial park will honor Chicago firefighters Anthony Lockhart and Patrick King, who were killed 12 years ago while extinguishing a blaze at a former car repair facility at 10611 S. Western Ave. The TIF assistance will pay for landscaping, fencing and a memorial for the fallen firefighters on the .6 acre site, which has remained vacant since the fire. Funds for the $675,000 acre project will be allocated from the Western Avenue/Rock Island TIF district. Preliminary designs include trees, grass, lighting, benches and walking paths surrounding a fireman-themed sculpture.
The community center will rise on the site of a former Chicago Housing Authority highrise at 410 W. Chicago Ave. To include a gymnasium, locker rooms, computer labs and a community meeting area, the $15 million facility will be operated by the Chicago Park District. The Near North TIF district will provide $5 million toward the construction cost with the remainder to be paid by the Jesse White Foundation, which would use the facility as a permanent home for the Jesse White Tumblers.
In a separate plan, Wilson Park, at 4630 N. Milwaukee Ave., will be allocated $500,000 from the Jefferson Park TIF District for assorted playground improvements, including a new play surface and climbing equipment.
TIF is a City of Chicago funding tool that's used to promote infrastructure and other improvements as well as create jobs in designated districts across the city.