Tinley Park Convention Center

The Tinley Park Convention Center has been a very successful Economic Development effort. Village of Tinley Park Village Manager David M. Dorgan conceived the project in 1996 as an effort to make the Village a center for business in the southern suburbs of Chicago.  

The Village Board saw the merit of the development.  Mayor Zabrocki and Trustee Rea led the Village Board to create a Tax Increment Financing District to financially incent the project.  The Village persuaded the School Districts and other governments to support the TIF.

The TIF was necessary because the site was in flood plain and because it was in Cook County adjacent to Will County. The tax rates in Cook County are very high for commercial development, and but for the TIF the project was not feasible.

Dorgan persuaded Don Hartz of Hartz Contrution to purchase the overall site and donate ten acres to the Village. The Village issued a Request for Proposal (RFP), and interviewed four developers. Craig Hullinger assisted Dorgan in this effort. Mid Continent Developers led by Jerry Stillman and Alan Rosensweig was the successful developer. They constructed the Convention Center and the attached 200 room Holiday Inn.  The Village donated 5 acres to the hotel developer, and provided improvements for the site financed with TIF dollars.

The Village also used Special Use Assessment Bonds to assist the development. The developer in turn donated more land for this project. Beth Ruyle of Ehlers and Associates did two additional TIF's to expand improvements into the historic business district.

The Village paid for the Convention Center and infrastructure with TIF dollars created by the new hotel and other development. The TIF has generated a substantial surplus.

The Convention Center has been a great success, and made Tinley Park the meeting center of the southern portion of the Chicago Metro Area. It stimulated substantial additional development in the village, expanding the property tax base for all governments.  Tax revenues to the Village and other governments were very positive. The Village is currently preparing a major expansion of the Center.

David M. Dorgan has been the City Manager of Canton and Elgin, and the Village Manager of Richton Park and Tinley Park. He is currently a consultant and managing urban revitalization of downtown Aurora.  

Craig Hullinger AICP is a planning an economic development consultant in the southern suburbs of Chicago. 


Beth Ruyle is an Economic Development and Management Consultant.


Our thanks to the Southtown Start for the images

Welcome to the Tinley Park Convention Center!