St. Charles officials to review proposed TIF district for former Pheasant Run Resort

The main lobby, Bourbon Street, and the A, B and E wings of the hotel rooms at Pheasant Run were destroyed, according to a news release from the St. Charles Fire Department.

The St. Charles City Council is considering creating a tax increment financing district for the shuttered Pheasant Run Resort to spur its redevelopment.

The Joint Review Board is set to review the Pheasant Run Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Plan and Project at 2 p.m. Dec. 1 in the City Council chambers at the St. Charles Municipal Building, 2 E. Main St. A public hearing on the redevelopment plan and project is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 3 at the St. Charles Municipal Building.

A Joint Review Board is made up of one representative from each taxing authority affected by a TIF. The board also includes at least one member of the public.

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.

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

The plan estimates it will cost more than $42 million to redevelop Pheasant Run Resort. That includes an estimated $16.5 million in demolition, site preparation and environmental cleanup along with $9 million in land acquisition and assembly.

Other costs include $3 million in infrastructure/public facilities improvements, $1.5 million in rehabilitation costs, $5.5 million in interest costs and $6 million in statutory school district payments. But as St. Charles Economic Development Director Derek Conley noted, there isn’t a proposed project or even a defined land use beyond commercial for the property at this time.

“Thus determining the redevelopment costs is very difficult,” Conley said. “The $42 million captures all possible costs in the event that they are needed. However, for any potential project, it is not realistic that the full $42 million would be utilized.”

Conley also said just because it’s an estimated redevelopment cost doesn’t mean it’s going to be paid for by the TIF.

“The city is only looking to fill in a financial gap for a potential development,” he said. “A majority of the redevelopment costs will be born by the prospective developer.”

Conley also noted the estimated redevelopment costs are for the entire former Pheasant Run property, including the former golf course. A fire in May that destroyed large parts of the Pheasant Run Resort has increased the need to use tax increment finances to spur its redevelopment, according to the plan.

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.

The plan addresses the fire and its impact on redeveloping the property.

“These conditions negatively impact the possibility for coordinated and substantial private sector reinvestment in the overall redevelopment project area,” according to the plan. “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 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.”