By LINDSAY WELBERS
City Hyde Park is one step closer to having its financial ducks in a row so construction can start.
The Jeanne Gang designed building was initially scheduled to begin construction in the fall of 2013 but financial hurdles delayed the project.
On Friday the City of Chicago Committee on Finance met to hear the Silliman Group’s request that the property at 51st Street and Lake Park Avenue be added to Enterprise Zone 6.
Illinois’ Enterprise Zone program intends to spur development and job creation in certain geographical regions in the state by relaxing regulations and granting tax incentives to developers who want to build in that area. There are currently 95 enterprise zones in Illinois, the maximum allowed under the law. The Illinois Enterprise Zone Act was signed in 1982 and intended to create growth in economically depressed areas.
To build City Hyde Park, Silliman is requesting that the property be added to the enterprise zone that extends across the South Side as far west as Central Park Avenue and as far south as 123rd Street.
The only Hyde Park properties currently in the enterprise zone are at the corner of 47th Street and Lake Park Avenue. If the state approves the change, the enterprise zone will extend south down Lake Park Avenue to include the property where the Village Shopping Center currently sits.
Joining the enterprise zone would allow Silliman to save millions of dollars on sales tax for building materials and some utilities. It also would make City Hyde Park eligible for certain tax credits, including income tax. It would also be eligible for tax deductions.
The City Hyde Park project was also recently warded $11 million in tax increment financing.
City Hyde Park, once completed, will be the home of the first Whole Foods on the South Side outside of the South Loop, along with space for medium box retailers and 180 apartments.