Tinley Park officials are requesting tax breaks from local school districts and the Frankfort Square Park District for a proposed 72-acre Walmart-Sam's Club development next to Brookside Marketplace.
Although the $50 million project is within Tinley Park’s boundaries, the new development will potentially affect residents in Frankfort Square and Mokena.
Tinley Park officials have met with Summit Hill School District 161 administrators about the proposed development at 191st Street and Harlem Avenue. The plan calls for the construction of a 323,000-square-foot shopping center.
In recent meetings with D161 and documents from the village, officials have asked the taxing bodies affected by the planned retail development to forgo a chunk of revenue for a period of time. Here’s what the village wants, according to documents:
- D161: 100 percent tax abatement over 2.5 years
- Lincoln-Way High School District 210: 100 percent tax abatement over 2.5 years
- Frankfort Square Park District: 50 percent tax abatement over five years.
- Village of Tinley Park: 25 percent sales tax-sharing deal over 10 years with a five-year even payout
The village expects $1.4 million in new revenue in the first five years with the abatements and $4.5 million in 10 years, according to documents.
D210 owns the property that Walmart hopes to develop, but it has a standing arrangement with Tinley Park to sell the land to the village if it finds a buyer. Supt. Scott Tingley said no one yet from the village has presented him with a specific tax abatement request.
Furthermore, there have been no recent discussions about purchasing the property, which is valued in the range of $6 to $7 million. Although board talks about the property would happen in closed session, any decision to sell the land would be done at a meeting open to the public, Tingley said.
"There's no agreement in place," he said. "The village would buy the property once everything is in place, once they've got a developer. … I think Tinley is testing the waters."
Doyle said D161 hasn’t done its own tax calculations in terms of taxes, and the topic will be discussed at the board’s Oct. 9 meeting.
"I'm not anti-development. I just think it needs to make sense for the community,” Doyle said, adding that a multimillion dollar corporation asking for a school district to help out financially goes against his philosophy. “I'm not speaking for the board [but] I'm not keen on it. Big-box corporations tend to fight property tax assessments." They're known, he said, to "threaten to move out of the area," leaving the community with a white elephant.
Tinley Park Editor Joe Vince also contributed to this report.