Board Gives Positive Preliminary Review to New Medical 6B Proposal

Board Gives Positive Preliminary Review to New Medical 6B Proposal

At a recent Village Board meeting, Northbrook manufacturer New Medical Technology received positive feedback from the Trustees to its planned 6B tax incentive application. The company intends to purchase a vacant 47,000 square foot building in Sky Harbor and retrofit its interior for manufacturing.

Currently located on Era Drive, New Medical produces medical supplies used to treat burns, scars and other skin injuries. Moving to the former Old World Industries facility at 4065 Commercial Avenue would provide significantly more space that the company needs for warehousing, manufacturing, and office uses. New Medical expects to invest up to $600,000 in renovating the space, in addition to the purchase price of $1.176M.

Cook County’s 6B program allows for a phased reduction of property tax assessments over 12 years for either new construction, substantial renovation, or reoccupancy of “abandoned” industrial property, defined as property that has been vacant for at least 24 months. The property on Commercial Avenue has been vacant for over three years.  The existing design of the building is primarily office space, which will require major changes for New Medical’s manufacturing operations. The company also indicated that it plans to pursue LEED certification and is considering installing solar panels

At the Board meeting, Trustees commented that they felt the application fits the criteria for 6B treatment and praised the company’s business and sustainability goals. “You can’t argue with the work that they do,” said Trustee Bob Israel. “I’m very excited. I’m absolutely encouraging them, I think it meets the criteria.”  President Kathryn Ciesla concurred, “The type of product that they have are ones that we can be proud to have in Northbrook….It’s a great company, and I encourage you to start the process.”

Once a formal 6B application is filed, the Village will seek feedback from all pertinent taxing bodies as well as the Village’s Industrial & Commercial Development Commission (ICDC) before making its recommendation to Cook County. In a comment to the Chamber, ICDC Chair Pat Lederer shared his thoughts regarding the general impact of 6B incentives and the circumstances when they are appropriate. Noting that the Commission has not seen details about New Medical Technology’s plans, Lederer commented that it is important to use 6B incentives for specific, narrow purposes.

“The 6B should be used as a tool to revitalize distressed properties,” said Lederer. “Business owners in Cook County are all at a disadvantage because their property taxes are at least twice what they would pay in neighboring counties.”

Lederer pointed out that the tax burden lifted by a 6B is redistributed among all other taxpayers. “ICDC’s view is that if a proposal involves a “white elephant” property or if it will bring in a lot of jobs, then it may be appropriate. The market for industrial real estate is at its highest level in years, and we should keep the high demand for these properties in mind when looking at each application.”