TIF fund increase approved for Springfield redevelopment project

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill (WAND)- The Springfield Economic Development Commission approved an increase in TIF funds for the renovation of the former First United Methodist Church on East Capitol Avenue in Downtown Springfield. 

The Springfield Urban Redevelopment LLC requested the increase in TIF funds to $1,682,00 from $985,00 due to unexpected costs incurred after purchasing the building. 

"We requested the increase due to construction cost overages that the project has experienced since we purchased the building. There was some significant damage and environmental remediation that needed taken care of immediately. that we weren't aware of when we purchased the property." said Amy Clark, Multiple Family Development Director for Economic Growth Corporation. "Currently, there is a hole in the roof and it's allowing water and moisture which is leading to some contamination inside the building, and leading to some structural problems, so it's going to require some demolition, some abatement and definitely replacing the roof." 

The renovation of the church will see big changes for downtown Springfield. The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce will occupy the former church sanctuary, and an additional 1,400 square feet of main office floor space will be available for businesses to rent. There will also be 25 units of mixed-income housing created in the space. The transformation of the area is something Mayor Jim Langfelder is looking forward to. 

"Anytime when you have a vacated building when you redo the building you bring life to the downtown so there is more activities." he said. "We're going to have some housing options there which downtown desperately needs in regards to bringing additional individuals here"

 The organization spearheading the project is grateful the city has made the process of working them easy. 

"We have such great partnerships with the city of Springfield and the Springfield Chamber of Commerce and the Springfield project, that have all been such a wonderful supporter of this project and it really feels like they understand the complexities of this project and the fact that it's moving forward just speaks volumes to the the communities commitment to redevelopment of downtown Springfield." said Clark. 

The project should be completed in Fall 2018. 

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