Return to Headlines

Sycamore Schools approves agreement with Montgomery for economic development

A plan to develop the Montgomery Quarter (formerly known as the Gateway Redevelopment Area) will move forward with the help of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreement between the Sycamore Board of Education and the City of Montgomery. Proceeds from the TIF will be used to finance public improvements for the 21-acre development site and reimburse the school district for a portion of their deferred property taxes as a result of the agreement.

The Board voted to defer property taxes generated by improvements to the TIF area. The project developers will make payments equal to the taxes they would have owed, enabling the city to use those funds to finance bonds to construct parking garages, roadways, sidewalks, sewer, and other utilities and to make Payments in Lieu of Taxes to the school district. Sycamore is projected to begin receiving funds commencing in 2021 and, continuing until the 30-year TIF is terminated. The City estimates the first phase of the project will generate approximately $400,000 per year for Sycamore in the first several years of the TIF, increasing to $500,000 - $900,000 per year in years 14-30. The first phase of the project includes a private investment totaling $63 million for corporate office and retail space, a boutique hotel and up to 128 luxury apartments. The development is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to Montgomery.

"This collaborative effort creates a win-win for the City of Montgomery and the district," said Paul Balent, Sycamore Board of Education President. "This agreement will allow the development of the Montgomery Quarter and generate more tax revenue than is currently collected while limiting the impact to the district."

Absent TIF agreements, many projects that may otherwise be unaffordable are able to be completed. Sycamore Community Schools treasurer, Beth Weber, noted, “Without the TIF agreement, this type of project would not be possible. Under this agreement, the property can be developed, and the district will receive new revenue to support our students.” Sycamore and Montgomery also agreed that funds generated from future levies for the district will be excluded from the TIF.

The second phase of the development is expected to include additional corporate office buildings and condominiums.

“The City is extremely pleased that this process has moved forward,” stated Brian Riblet, Montgomery city manager. “We value our partnership with Sycamore Community Schools and look forward to continuing to keep our community and schools vibrant.”

The ordinance authorizing the agreement will be presented to the Montgomery City Council for their consideration at the May 22 Council meeting.