A public hearing that was to be held Tuesday to discuss the establishment of a Tax Allocation District in north Columbus has been postponed at the request of the developers, according to city officials.
“The Planning Department has been informed by the applicants for the proposed Tax Allocation District for Midland Commons, that they plan to seek a delay on this matter at tomorrow’s Council meeting,” read a statement from the mayor’s office on Monday. “The Planning Department has received a written request for this action, and the applicant will appear before Council to formally request such a delay. The matter could be heard in late January, at which time a new public hearing will be requested and publicized.”
A TAD, usually reserved for blighted areas, is being considered for 292 acres at the intersection of J.R. Allen Parkway and Manchester Expressway, near the Walmart on Gateway. The property contains five parcels, which include the former Swift Denim Mill that has been vacant for more than 10 years.
The project is being proposed by Flournoy & Calhoun Realty, which plans to transform the site into Midland Commons with 533,000 square feet of retail space and 250 senior housing units. Developers said the project would include traffic improvements near the Walmart and enhancements at Flat Rock Park.
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At a Nov. 28 meeting, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson expressed concerns about using the funding mechanism to develop an area already rife with development, while many areas of south Columbus remain blighted.
Developers said the property has been underutilized due to a chemical spill and other problems and the project would generate $22.9 million in new taxable value for the property. They said it also would generate $19.5 million in incremental TAD value once the project is completed.
When a TAD is approved, the city can issue revenue bonds to remedy infrastructure and environmental problems, as well as other issues that might hinder development. The extra tax revenue created by the project is then used to repay the revenue bonds over the life of the TAD, usually 20-30 years. The extra revenue goes into city and school district coffers.
If approved by Council, Midlands Commons would be the city’s seventh TAD since voters passed a 2014 referendum, after rejecting a similar one in 2007. TADS already have been approved for Midtown East and Midtown West, Fort Benning Technology Park and the River District Development Plan, which includes Sixth Avenue, the Liberty District, Uptown, and 2nd Avenue and City Village.