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Batavia aldermen to vote on Walgreens financial proposal

BATAVIA – A proposal to give Batavia Enterprises $1.14 million in financial assistance to help in the construction of a new Walgreens store in downtown Batavia is moving forward.

Batavia aldermen are set to discuss the proposal at their Joint Committee of the Whole meeting Feb. 11, and vote on the proposal Feb. 17. Batavia Enterprises Vice President Austin Dempsey said he is hopeful the deal will be approved.

“I’ve learned to be guardedly optimistic,” he said.

Under the proposal, Batavia Enterprises would receive $450,000 from the city as the project moves forward, and another $693,000 that would be paid out over 12 years if the project generates enough TIF increment to cover it, Dempsey said.

The project is in a tax increment financing district. In TIF districts, the total equalized assessed valuation (EAV) within a district at the time of creation is measured and frozen. Then revenues generated from the application of the local composite tax rate to the incremental growth in property tax revenues over the frozen baseline amount are used to pay for redevelopment costs.

Once a development project is completed and has been paid for, the TIF district is dissolved and the tax base is returned to full use by all eligible taxing bodies.

“The project has to generate enough cost and increment to cover it,” Dempsey said.

Total project costs for the new Walgreens store are estimated to reach about $6 million, which includes a 10 percent contingency of $520,250. Because the property has poor soil, the new building would have to be built on concrete caissons or piers, which is estimated to cost $275,000.

In addition, a large storm drain line runs through the city-owned portion of the property. The line acts as an overflow route from the southern tip of Depot Pond to a point in the Fox River just north of the city of Batavia’s Emergency Services and Disaster Agency garage.

Dempsey said the line needs to be moved at a cost of $300,000.

Batavia Enterprises wants to move Walgreens from its current location at 138 W. Wilson St. in the Batavia Plaza into a 14,500-square-foot building with a drive-thru just east of East China Inn in the same shopping center.

Batavia Enterprises owns Batavia Plaza.

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