HYDE PARK — The City Council on Wednesday signed off on $11.8 million in taxpayer support to bring Whole Foods to Hyde Park.
Work has begun on the site, with demolition crews removing the former Village Grocery Store and Original Pancake House early last month after six years of planning for the development.
The city will support the project through the creation of a new tax-increment financing district that encompasses just the project site.
TIF districts work by capturing a portion of property taxes and putting it into a special fund to be used for infrastructure improvements within the district. With only the City Hyde Park project in the new TIF district, the city will capture a portion of just the development’s property taxes and then return it to the developer to support the project.
During a community review process in January 2012, Ald. Will Burns (4th), the developer and the community agreed the use of TIF funds and any property tax revenue in excess of the $11.8 million committed to the project would be overseen by the 53rd Street TIF District advisory council, a board of community members appointed by Burns.
Because the new TIF district is adjacent to the 53rd Street TIF District, property tax revenue raised beyond what is committed to City Hyde Park can be used to support initiatives in the 53rd Street district.