Economic Development Quick Links
Diversity, the hallmark of Skokie, is reflected not only in its demography, but also in its economic profile and economic development strategies. The Economic Development Division promotes a diverse and progressive economic development approach to make Skokie as one of the best places of its size to live and work. The Village is actively pursuing policies to attract high quality jobs, maintain and enhance its position as a major retail center in Chicagoland, create a more vibrant downtown, promote transit oriented development, and retain its manufacturing base. Primary functions of the Economic Development Division include:
- Coordinating special redevelopment programs throughout the Village's business districts;
- Marketing available properties and development opportunities;
- Managing tax increment financing (TIF) districts and other development projects; and
- Disseminating economic and community data to developers, businesses, citizens and other interested parties.
Through thoughtful planning and an overall spirit of cooperation, Skokie has grown into a thriving center of commerce, with many vibrant retail centers, a strong industrial base and extensive professional services. Businesses in Skokie appreciate their location for many good reasons. The Village has not increased its property tax levy since 1991, and there are no head taxes, sewer taxes or impact fees as there are in other towns. Added to that is a prime location connected by major highways and public transportation to Chicago and O'Hare Airport, conveniently accessible to suppliers, customers, and labor markets.
The Village's AAA bond rating attests to a strong economic health and prudent fiscal management. Skokie is the first municipality nationwide to achieve nationally accredited Police, Fire, and Public Works Departments, and a Class-1 Fire Department as rated by the Insurance Services Office (ISO). Thanks to the community's strong tax base, Skokie's 63,349 residents enjoy the best in school districts, parks and recreational programs.
In addition to this, Skokie boasts many fine cultural and recreational attractions, a high quality housing stock in a variety of styles and prices, and an excellent array of both public and private schools. Some of the country's finest universities and community colleges are also in close proximity to the Village.
Despite being a landlocked, fully developed community, Skokie continues to grow. Our partnership with the private sector resulted in the new Westfield Old Orchard Shopping Center - a beautiful, 1.8 million sq. ft. outdoor mall featuring 150 stores, theaters and restaurants that has the highest sales per square foot of all major centers in the Chicago region.
A tax increment financing (TIF) district established in the 1990's, as well as the adoption of a long-term redevelopment strategy, began the initiative to rejuvenate Downtown Skokie. Already in place are new, mixed-use developments combining residential and commercial space. A fresh streetscape and commercial renovation program has given Downtown a new appearance and vitality that is attracting new retailers, services, and residents to the area. For more information on Downtown Skokie, please click here.
Downtown Skokie also is home to the Illinois Science + Technology Park (IS + TP), a 23.4-acre campus that currently employs over 1,300 workers. The IS + TP is expected to bring more than 3,000 jobs to Skokie and generate billions of dollars in statewide economic activity. For more information on the Illinois Science + Technology Park, click here.
The Village's recent efforts to focus on a problematic portion of what was once a thriving commercial corridor - West Dempster Street - have been met with much support by the community and overlapping taxing districts. The boundaries of the W. Dempster Street TIF District have been drawn to include only those commercial (e.g., non-residential) properties in need of assistance. The Village has recently entered into a redevelopment agreement to develop the first of several recently-acquired properties to ready the sites for development once the economy begins to improve.
Each of the Village's current Redevelopment Plans and boundary maps can be found below:
- Downtown TIF District (as Amended)
- Illinois Science + Technology TIF District
- West Dempster TIF District
Community economic development efforts have also resulted in new and refurbished hotels, state-of-the-art research laboratories, an 18-screen theatre/retail complex, major fitness centers, new retail and residential developments, corporate expansions and more. In Skokie, the climate for business is stronger than ever.