You Paid for It: A Shining Shorewood
Earlier this month dozens of Shorewood's residents packed a village meeting hall for a progress report on the $19.5 million plan to shore up the aging business district.
The focus: Oakland Avenue and Capitol Drive. Better streets and sidewalks, new lighting and landscaping, facelifts for old buildings and plans for more new buildings with storefronts and high-end condos.
To get things rolling, Shorewood borrowed nearly $3.5 million through bond sales. Revenue from those bonds bought the first round of street-side improvements, and created a huge pile of cash that the village offers to developers as incentives to build.
However, village leaders aren't advertising the fact that if the redevelopment doesn't happen as fast enough, taxpayers would be on the hook to pay back those bonds.
"It's a fluid plan," admitted board president Guy Johnson. "we know that things are going to change, but if you don't have a plan that you're starting with, you're just going to let randomness take over, too, and that's what we're trying to avoid."
Despite the risk, if all this does work out, some projections show Shorewood's business district could be worth $100 million to $400 million more than it is today in just 14 years."
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