November 4, 2013 9:34:33 AM
Nathan Gregory - email@example.com
Officials are still not ready to reveal the identities of both retailers who will occupy a new facility where the unoccupied portion of the University Mall building currently stands, but Dick's Sporting Goods appears to be one of the new stores coming to town.
After this morning's public hearing on a tax increment financing plan to fund infrastructural upgrades to the area yielded no objections Lowndes County supervisors agreed to their end of a $1.25 million TIF bond issue. The county will pledge 100 percent of ad valorem revenues from the property over about 15 years with 65 percent to be utilized to service the debt.
Golden Triangle Development Link CEO Joe Max Higgins said when city and county leaders first saw the request last month that one of the retailers to occupy the 50,000-square-foot space would be a sporting goods retailer and the other an arts and crafts outlet store.
Supervisors also held a hearing for and approved its end of another TIF request -- a $3.845 million issue-- pledging 50 percent of ad valorem revenues to service the debt on the Moore's Creek Crossing redevelopment project. Local developer Mark Castleberry has overseen that project, opening one hotel on 18th Avenue this year and building two others set to open in 2014.
City councilmen are expected to agree to their end of financing for each TIF project when they meet 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Columbus Municipal Complex. The city would pledge 65 percent of both ad valorem and sales tax revenues from the site to pay for improvements, which include demolishing the University Mall building and replacing it with a new facility to house both stores. Upgrades will also include reconfiguring the parking lot by the Wilkins-Wise entrance and adding new light fixtures and landscaping.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.