The Jefferson City Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend approval of plans to redevelop the former St. Mary’s Hospital site to City Council.
ABC 17 News has been following the TIF proposal for months.
Wednesday, two people from the public spoke against the plans which would allow partial tax abatement for up to 23 years. Those in opposition said there was not a need for more retail space in Jefferson City as many stores have shut down while online sales increase.
F & F Development, a branch of Farmer Holding Co., hopes to redevelop the site into a satellite campus for Lincoln University along with some restaurants, office and retail space. The project would cost about $44.6 million.
ABC 17 News reported that a $10 million agreement between the state and Lincoln University fell through back in 2014 before it was sold to Farmer Holding.
However, in order for the developer’s plan to work, a large amount of grant funding is needed from the university. This comes as university leaders announced about a $3 million budget shortfall for the upcoming school year compared to the 2016-2017 school year.
The developer’s second option is to replace the space for higher education with more commercial space. That option would cost about $30.9 million.
ABC 17 News asked the developer’s attorney what the next steps in the project will be if the TIF is approved by City Council.
“We need to sit down and have a serious discussion with Lincoln University on the ability to move that project forward,” said Korb Maxwell, an attorney for F & F Development. “The plan at this time is to get started with construction in 2018 and be completed in 2020. So we have a tight time frame to be able to move this forward.”
The TIF proposal is expected to be introduced to the City Council in mid-July.