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Self-Storage Developer Proposes Creative Tax Solutions for Project in Prospect Heights, IL


Update 7/3/15 – Prospect Heights aldermen recently approved a Cook County, Ill., Class 7C tax incentive for the vacant property on which developer Jonathan Lunn intends to build a self-storage facility. The tax request was submitted by Lunn’s company, CSE Development, according to the source.

The county incentive is a five-year tax break designed to lower the assessed value of a property. As written, the tax rate for the Rand Road parcel will decrease from 25 percent to 10 percent for three years, before increasing to 15 percent in the fourth year and 20 percent in the fifth year, the source reported.

At the end of the five years, the parcel should be taxed similarly to other commercial properties in Wheeling Township, Ill., Lunn said in a letter to city officials.

With Prospect Heights officials supportive of the tax incentive, Lunn told the source he wants to meet with county officials to discuss its qualifications so he can move forward with the project.

It isn’t clear if the tax-incentive would affect Lunn’s previous agreement to pay the city rental fees on the facility’s 720 units as a way to offset anticipated shortcomings in sales-tax income.

12/19/14 – Prospect Heights aldermen directed city staff last week to develop a draft agreement on the self-storage development proposed by Jonathan Lunn. The agreement will be reviewed by the city council at a later date and include discussion points about the project, including the unorthodox “unit-inspection fees” Lunn proposed as a way to offset anticipated shortcomings in tax income.

Lunn told officials he is willing to pay additional fees to the city for each storage unit. The proposed facility would comprise 720 units, according to the source.

“What we’re looking for is a retail business somewhat like a McDonald’s that can help generate income consistently for the city,” an unidentified member of the council told Lunn during the meeting. “I don’t see that happening with a storage facility, although I am impressed by your business presentation.”

The development property at 1414 Rand Road has been vacant for approximately 10 years, according to the source. Lunn said he wants to move forward with the project by the end of the year.

12/12/14 – Self-storage developer Jonathan Lunn is in talks with city officials in Prospect Heights, Ill., about allowing “unit-inspection fees” at a proposed storage facility on Rand Road. Lunn proposed the idea when aldermen expressed concern about the lack of sales-tax revenue that would be generated by the facility. Inspection fees at the 700-unit facility would generate approximately $7,000 in revenue for the city, according to the source.

It’s not clear from the report exactly what the fee would encompass nor what would be entailed during inspections. The fees would be imposed annually.

Lunn first proposed the storage development at 1414 N. Rand Road in November. The project would be built on 1.5 acres.

Lunn told officials he would also construct new sidewalks on Rand Road. He said he previously developed self-storage projects in the Illinois communities of Glendale Heights, Streamwood and West Chicago, according to the source.


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