A 'big box' on North Avenue

Opinion: Editorials

March 14th, 2017 4:06 PM

By Editorial

Our Views

Good for River Forest Trustee Tom Cargie. Asked a clear question during Wednesday Journal's endorsement session last week, he gave a clear and fascinating answer.

Once River Forest approves a new TIF district on North Avenue, we asked, what do you expect that street will look like in 10 years? We expected the usual "awaiting the consultant's report," "the marketing study," "the traffic study," "the environmental impact study." Instead Cargie said he wanted to see a big box store on the street, one that would generate property taxes but especially a haul of sales taxes, preferably from a lot of people who don't live in River Forest.

Sounds a lot like the giant bet that River Forest made a generation back when bold leadership used TIFs to create the first and then the second iteration of the Town Center at Lake and Harlem.

Big box or medium box, Cargie's right that River Forest needs new commercial development not just more high-end townhomes. And good for him for saying so.