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Pieces dropping into place for downtown Yorkville

The eastside Route 47 looms over dug up hillside Wednesday January 9 2013. Tuesday evening Yorkville City Council approved tax

The eastside of Route 47 looms over the dug up hillside on Wednesday, January 9, 2013. Tuesday evening, the Yorkville City Council approved tax incentives for redevelopment of both sides of Bridge Street from Van Emmon to Hydraulic streets | Steven Buyansky~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 11, 2013 7:25AM

YORKVILLE — Some key moves were made this week toward the redevelopment of downtown Yorkville.

The City Council put its final stamp of approval on a business district, a special retail tax and a development agreement for the west side of Route 47, between Van Emmon and Hydraulic streets. The business district is all the properties owned by Imperial Investments.

The council also considered — although ultimately tabled for two weeks — a development agreement with a Naperville company doing business as Rowdy’s, which has purchased OJ’s Tap and will turn it into a Yorkville-themed bar-restaurant.

Tables also are set in the new 100-seat expansion at Cobblestone Bakery and Bistro, which could open any time.

Renovation continues on two more restaurant properties, the former Bridge Restaurant, now known as Mongolian 211, and the former Kendall Pub, which will be known as the Kendall Grille. Both are in the new business district.

In the business district on the west side of Route 47, the properties owned by Imperial Investments, the city will enact a 1 percent business district sales tax which the city will keep for public improvements within the district.

It also will enact a 1 percent business district tax on retail and service work in the district.

According to the development agreement with Imperial Investments, that money will go to the developer to be put toward anything from purchasing the land needed to building new buildings and remodeling.

Imperial Investment’s owner Rick Tollefson actually supported the tax, and city officials said it was preferable to the tax increment financing money because the business district tax can be used for almost anything within the district. Use of the money in a TIF is more limited.

Because the business district takes in only one property owner, and because that property owner supported the tax, aldermen easily and unanimously supported establishing the district, the tax and the development agreement.

“I don’t often support new taxes, but this is a very unique situation,” said Alderman Carlo Colosimo, 1st Ward. “This applies to one developer and he’s requesting it.”

The agreement aldermen will consider Jan. 22 for Rowdy’s is similar, although it will be done through the downtown tax increment financing district.

In that case, the city would rebate up to 10 percent of the project cost, or up to $170,000. Aldermen supported the money, but it seemed the money was only part of the equation.

Alderman Marty Munns, 3rd Ward, pointed out that redevelopment downtown has been discussed for at least the 12 years he has lived in town.

“This will lessen the burden for the developers,” he said. “So far, it looks like we’re off to a good start.”

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