Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin paid a visit to the District 204 School Board at their latest meeting.
At the meeting, Mayor Irvin and members of his development team shared plans to redevelop Yorkshire Plaza, just north of the Fox Valley Mall.
A prospective developer wants to turn the area into a “new chinatown” with Asian targeted stores and apartments
The developer wants the new apartment building to become a tax increment financing, or TIF district.
That classification could have ramifications for the district, which the mayor wanted to discuss with the school board.
“People move in and out of a city based on the success of a school district,” said Mayor Irvin. “If we did something that hurt the success of a school district that would prevent people from moving and development from coming to capitalize on what you’re doing so well in 204. That would negatively affect us, we can’t do that.”
If a residential building becomes a TIF, it would reduce the amount of property tax income District 204 gets from it while at the same time bringing more students into the district.
“I have a hard time agreeing to something because we cannot generate that revenue as a district,” said Board Member Mark Rising. “If there are kids that come to that residential area, it’s hard to make up that revenue.”
The retail portion of the development would not be included in the TIF district, so those increased property values would mean increased revenue for the district.
Board members want to find the right balance to strike a win-win.
“The area needs to get redeveloped. I’ve got concerns like anybody else,” said Board Member Justin Karubas. “We don’t want to see the whole area become a TIF. It’s got to be a responsible development.”
The City of Aurora will continue looking into redeveloping the area, but nothing is set in stone yet.
District 204 currently has no TIF districts within its borders.
Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.