Rebates for two redevelopments up for approval in Urbana

Rebates for two redevelopments up for approval in Urbana

URBANA — City council members this week will take a look at proposals to pay rebates to property owners for two renovation projects — one on the northern edge of the city and one in downtown.

Officials could make a preliminary decision on the two proposals when they meet at 7 p.m. today in the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St.

In the larger of the two renovation projects, Frasca Associates says it plans to expand its flight-simulator business and Frasca Field Airport near the intersection of Cunningham Avenue and Airport Road. The project would include renovations of existing facilities, expansion of one building and construction of a new 12,000- to 24,000-square foot facility.

Officials expect the project could cost between $1.5 million and $2.5 million, according to a memo to the city council. But under a deal with the city to make the expansion more financially feasible, the city would rebate 60 percent of the property-tax revenue generated by the expansion during the next 10 years.

That rebate would be capped between $275,000 and $425,000, depending on the final cost of construction. The company is also asking the city to move up the schedule for road work on Airport Road between Willow Road and Cunningham Avenue.

According to the memo, officials expect the extra tax revenue generated by the project would cover the cost of the rebates after 12 or 13 years. Frasca Associates says the expansion will provide room for 40 more employees during the next five years, and city officials think the project would increase local economic output by more than $14 million annually when it is completed.

In the second project, officials said Matt Cho of Cake Design Development LLC has asked for city assistance in renovating two Main Street buildings to open a cafe in one and a "creative co-work space" in the other for "local artists, designers, entrepreneurs and others to work, collaborate and host events," according to a city memo.

The two primarily vacant buildings owned by Busey Bank are in the 200 block of West Main Street between Corson Music and Siam Terrace.

Cho would be eligible for city reimbursement of 20 percent of his renovation costs, up to a maximum $70,000. According to the memo, officials expect the project will end up costing Cho a total $750,000.

City officials expect the additional sales tax generated when the two businesses open will cover the cost of the reimbursements after six or seven years.

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