Thorndale Corridor Master Plan, Financing and Implementation Strategy

City of Wood Dale, IL

SB Friedman was part of a consulting team, including the Lakota Group and TranSystems, engaged by the City of Wood Dale to prepare a master plan for the Thorndale Corridor. This corridor includes a major arterial roadway to be converted to a limited-access expressway and provide access to the proposed western terminal at O’Hare International Airport.  The City’s goal was to capitalize on these major transportation improvements to create a new commercial gateway to the airport and encourage the redevelopment of the area, which is primarily characterized by relatively older warehouse and industrial uses. 

SB Friedman conducted a real estate market analysis to quantify the development potential of the area that focused on office, hotel and supportive retail uses, which are key components of airport gateway development.  A detailed study of the real estate demand and supply factors of office and hotel uses was conducted, including projections of the amount of future demand that could be captured in the Thorndale Corridor.  The findings of the analysis were synthesized to create a supportable development program and development parameters to guide the physical planning of the area. 

Following City approval of the Thorndale Corridor Master Plan, SB Friedman was retained to develop a financing and implementation strategy for the Main Street portion of the plan. Current land uses and levels of infrastructure in this approximately 120-acre corridor indicated that public participation would likely be required. Key components of preparing the area include: land assembly dealing with a diverse group of land owners and valuable industrial land proximate to O’Hare International Airport, local roadway restructuring, and expanded stormwater infrastructure. SB Friedman identified a phasing strategy to guide the implementation process, then focused on quantifying the development costs and potential sources of funds required to implement the first phase of Main Street. We analyzed the productivity of several local financing tools including Tax Increment Financing (TIF), Special Service Areas, Business Development Districts, and local option infrastructure sales tax.    

Wood Dale MarketingIn 2014, we conducted a TIF eligibility study and supported the City with district designation to help facilitate the redevelopment of a declining mixed-use area comprising approximately 603 acres of improved land, which overlaps the Thorndale Corridor, near the future expansion path of the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway. The area under consideration for the proposed Thorndale Corridor TIF District contains predominantly industrial and public/institutional properties. In 2015, SB Friedman began working with the City to develop marketing materials to help drive redevelopment within the TIF and Master Plan areas.                 

Results: The City adopted the Thorndale Corridor TIF District in 2015, finalized the marketing materials in 2016, and is currently working with property owners and potential tenants on implementation steps.