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Ridge property predicaments

  • Written by Kevin M. Coyne

CR does not grant 6B incentive to Virginia

Avenue lot; no action on Roche property

  To avoid burdening Chicago Ridge’s residential and commercial taxpayers, village trustees voted Tuesday night against extending a Cook County property-tax incentive known as Class 6B to the prospective owner an industrial property, formerly CBK Group.

  In order for the 10130 Virginia Avenue property to be classified as a Class 6B, it must be abandoned or unused for 24 months, require substantial rehabilitation or be substantially reoccupied. The 36,000-square-foot property has been listed at $1,450,000 for the past several months.
  “The owner indicated that the property has just gone vacant in June 2013 and as we know under 6B the property must be abandoned and unused for more than 24 months,” Trustee Michael Davies said. “Getting to the rehabilitation part, the question is whether or not replacing the roof on a property that is in excess of 20 years old counts as substantial rehabilitation or regular maintenance.”
  Under special circumstances. a property can be classified as abandoned prior to 24 months if the municipality or Cook County Board of Commissioners deems the property abandoned for the purposes of Class 6B. The issue is now offering a second tax break in addition to classifying the property and land as a Class 6B level.
  “So first we are going to grant the 6B where they are going to take the valued property that they bought at auction where it will reduce that assessment level from 25 percent to 10 percent and then we are going to let them reduce it further with vacancy relief,” Davies said. “This property will have a very small footprint tax-wise and I think this is giving the potential owner a double-cut in which the end result is that everybody else pays higher taxes.”
  Village attorney George Witous asked the board if they would rather have the property abandoned or if they would rather induce a buyer to help generate additional revenue for the village.
  “I don’t believe this qualifies as an abandoned property, but the point of the issue we have to consider is do you want a vacant property in the industrial park or do we want a revenue-generating property,” Witous said. “This is an inducement to a prospective purchaser to know that he’s got the advantage of a reduced tax rate.”
  Chicago Ridge officials met with figureheads from YRC Freight, formerly Yellow Freight to inspect the property and to discuss the company’s intentions to move back into the abandoned property. Yellow abandoned the property in 2008 when it moved its Chicago-based terminal to Ford Heights.
  “We are going to meet with the Yellow Freight staff to point out all of the areas of concern and identify all of our concerns for them to reoccupy that site,” said village engineer Chris Burke. “We will review a request for them to reoccupy that site and at that point we will get their response as to how they wish to respond to all of our concerns before we get everybody out there to review the property.”
  Chicago Ridge had planned to create a TIF district on the old Yellow site and redevelop the 75-acre trucking terminal into a mix-use facility comprised of office space, retail shopping, entertainment and other business that would generate additional tax revenue for the village.
  • There was no action on the fate of a property owned by Mike Roche Jr. at 10014 Anderson Ave. – an area some officials have deemed an eyesore.
  Officials met in a special meeting and executive session on Aug. 1 and there was speculation that action could be taken at Tuesday’s meeting. Officials were asking Roche to produce a contract outlining improvements he would make on the property, such as repaving, and when they would be complete.
  Roche said he has been working the past three months to clean up the property and complete a list of eliminating code violations that were directed at him by Chicago Ridge Building Commissioner Rich Sumner.