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After financing multiple major downtown redevelopment projects and creating substantial growth in property values over 23 years, the City of Evanston has announced the dissolution of the Washington National Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district, effective last Dec. 31.
Created in 1994 as a proactive tool to address the redevelopment of the site vacated by the Washington National Insurance Company corporate headquarters, the Washington National TIF district covered an area bounded by Benson Avenue on the west, Church Street on the north, Chicago Avenue on the east and Davis Street on the south.
From 1994 to 2017, Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) within the Washington National TIF increased by $64.4 million, or 250%, from the original amount of $25.7 million to $90.1 million. EAV is the product of the assessed value of a property and state equalization factor, minus exemptions.
The TIF also generated $66 million in revenues over its term to help fund major redevelopment projects in downtown Evanston, including:
• The redevelopment of the Washington National Insurance Company headquarters, now home to Park Evanston;
• Construction of the Sherman Plaza mixed-use development; and
• The $6 million expansion and renovation of Fountain Square.
Funds were also used for façade improvements for several properties, including the Music Institute of Chicago and Koi Restaurant.