Fire at shuttered Pheasant Run Resort has increased need to use TIF funds to spur redevelopment: study

Fire crews continued to battle a massive fire at the former Pheasant Run Resort property in St. Charles late into Saturday night. Several buildings on the property appeared to be involved in the fire.

A fire in May that destroyed large parts of the shuttered Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles has increased the need to use tax increment finances to spur its redevelopment, according to a plan prepared for city officials.

Two male juveniles – one from Carol Stream and one from Wheaton – have been charged with causing the fire, while two other male juveniles – one from Carol Stream and one from Winfield – each have been charged with trespassing at the resort.

At Monday’s St. Charles City Council meeting, alderpersons are set to discuss a proposed Pheasant Run Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Plan and Project. Once a municipality creates a TIF district, its property assessment is frozen and new or increased taxes generated by improvements are used to pay for improvements or other development incentives.

The plan addresses the fire and its impact on redeveloping the property. TIF consultant Kane, McKenna and Associates created the plan, which was filed with the City Clerk’s office on Aug. 26.

“These conditions negatively impact the possibility for coordinated and substantial private sector reinvestment in the overall redevelopment project area,” the plan states. “Without the use of city planning and economic development resources to address certain issues, potential redevelopment activities are not likely to be economically feasible. These factors potentially weaken the likelihood for redevelopment opportunities, limiting employment and contributing to a lack of future investment in the area. To address these conditions the city seeks to adopt the Pheasant Run TIF in order to enhance future opportunities for viable redevelopment.”

The plan states that the permanent closure of the Pheasant Run Resort and golf course, along with the resort’s physical demise and partial destruction by the fire “and the resulting impacts in this strategically critical area of the city, especially in light of the decline of the Charlestowne Mall across the street, requires the city to be proactive in encouraging its redevelopment.”

A Joint Review Board – comprised of representatives from each taxing authority affected by the proposed TIF – plans to review the Pheasant Run Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Plan and Project at 2 p.m. Oct. 13 at the St. Charles Municipal Building. A public hearing on the redevelopment plan and project is set for 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at the St. Charles Municipal Building.

Pheasant Run Resort closed in March 2020 after a failed attempt to auction the resort. McGrath Honda is redeveloping the former Pheasant Run Mega Center adjacent to the property and industrial buildings will be built on the former Pheasant Run Resort golf course.