City Council OKs Jefferson Crossing TIF Plan
Developers who've been planning for years to build a shopping center and gas station at a busy intersection on Springfield's northwest side say they could break ground on the project next month.
The Jefferson Crossing redevelopment plan got final approval from aldermen Tuesday night. The City Council agreed to set aside $9.2 million dollars in future tax revenues to reimburse builders. The funds will come from a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District set up in 2007 specifically for the project.
Joe McMenamin was the only alderman to vote 'no' on the ordinance to authorize the TIF agreement. He read a letter from a critic concerned about the project's size and location. McMenamin also questioned why builders will get a %100 reimbursement rate when most TIF projects get closer to 33% percent.
Alderman Steve Dove said Jefferson Crossing got a different deal for a good reason:
DOVE: "The way I look at it, the difference is, you have several of the other TIF districts that have numerous owners. This TIF district is owned by one corporation. And they're going to do all of the improvements which will increase the value to the property. Everything they put into it increases the value of the TIF, and they're paying it. So it's their money."
Developer Pat Ryan told aldermen he agreed to spend more than he truly needs to in order to benefit the city. Ryan's company will put in a sewer main connecting the area to the recently completed northside treatment plant. Ryan also agreed to pave and widen Winch Road and put in a new traffic light where it meets Jefferson:
RYAN: "So there's a lot of infrastructure planned into this project for the future growth of the whole area. Because if this project goes and is successful, there's going to be other stuff built around it, and now the necessary infrastructure will already be in place for that."
Ryan and his business partner - Wendy Chronister of the Qik-n-EZ gas station chain - say they're committed to hiring local contractors for the work they expect to begin in August. They estimate the project will bring as many as 400 jobs to the area.