Today the bulk of Machesney Park Mall stands empty, a shell of it's former self. The Machesney Park village council hopes to bring shoppers back to their community with a new, outdoor mall. But first, they must make the property attractive to prospective businesses. They plan to do this through tax increment financing, also known as a TIF. Here's how it works. The village improves the infrastructure within the TIF district which causes property values to increase. The increase in property tax revenue is then used to pay for the infrastructure improvements. But the TIF district covers more than just mall property.
"The goal is looking at the, the, North Second Street corridor as a whole. It does function as a market area of the village." explains Lisa Lyon an urban planner for the project. The TIF district stretches along second street from Harlem Road to 173 and aims to turn that stretch of road into the villages primary commercial zone. Now, some home and business owners within the TIF district were concerned about the possible use of emminent domain in the future, but the village maintains that they have no intentions to force people out.