TIFs and Casinos | Bleader

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

TIFs and Casinos

Posted By on 12.23.08 at 03:18 PM

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As we noted yesterday, Neil G. Bluhm, who won the right to run a casino in Des Plaines, has been a big player in the city's TIF game.

He and his old partner Judd Malkin--Mayor Daley's special Super Bowl pal--were the lead developers in the original TIF-funded plan to build Block 37. Let's just say it didn't quite work out as planned.

In 2007, one of Bluhm's companies, Walton Street Capital, received city approval to get about $51 million in TIF money to convert the old downtown post office into condos and a hotel. Assuming they're ever built, I'm sure they'll fit in well with all the condos the city's planning to put up over at the old Michael Reese Hospital.

The question taxpayers should ask themselves is this: What's more likely to happen first, we all win big at Bluhm's yet-to-be-operating Des Plaines blackjack tables or the city sees some property tax benefits from Block 37?

Remember, the dealer has to draw if he has anything under 17.

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