Developer hopes to win residents over

Dr. Claude Gendreau, the owner of La Banque hotel in Homewood, Illinois, is planning an upscale hotel as part of an office park development he wants to build in Highland.

HIGHLAND — The town might help the Cardinal Campus office park with some infrastructure installation and a potential tax incentive, officials said.

The development, planned by Dr. Claude Gengreau, a veterinary surgeon from Buffalo Grove, Illinois, will include a three-story hotel and seven two-story office buildings at the corner of Main Street and Prairie Avenue.

The boutique hotel will be similar to one Gendreau owns in Homewood.

Last month, the town granted final approval for the 9-acre planned unit development.

The Redevelopment Commission's recent agenda included receipt of a letter from Gendreau regarding potential town incentives for the project.

However, the commission said Gendreau was not yet ready to present his proposals, and the board postponed any related action.

"We should be getting specific information from them within the next week to 10 days, then the commission can consider it and move forward," Board Attorney Rhett Tauber said. 

One possible incentive would be tax increment financing, but it is still too early to assume this will happen, Tauber stressed.

In a TIF, the existing level of taxes generated by a development continue to benefit the entire town while the additional taxes generated by the project help with certain improvements for the development and its general area.

Improvements could include the town installing infrastructure, such as sewers and water lines, said Commissioner/Town Councilman Mark Herak, I-2nd.

The commission also stressed that it will not pay for a new brick road that will run diagonally through the campus with entry and exit on Main and Prairie.

This road will be privately owned by the campus and will be the developer's responsibility to fund and install, board members said.

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