After ‘bad mistake’ in calculations, it’s back to negotiating table for TIF plan in University City

By on February 19, 2019

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  It’s back to the negotiating table between the developer proposing a $190 million big box retail development and city staff here after a consulting firm’s error upended the amount of tax revenue both sides were banking on.

On one side, Webster Groves-based Novus development needs future property and sales tax to finance about $70 million worth of the project it wants to build at the eastern intersection of Olive Boulevard and Interstate 170.

On the other, University City officials need enough new revenue to be generated from the project to pay for $15 million worth of Olive Boulevard improvements and neighborhood investment in the mainly African-American 3rd Ward.

“We’re continuing to negotiate and we believe at this point it will be fruitful,” University City Manager Gregory Rose told the Post-Dispatch.

The major development at the northwestern entrance to the inner-ring suburb has been debated for the last year. The developer is seeking tax increment financing , which allows future sales and property taxes generated by a project to be used to help finance it. While Novus’ proposal would require the buyout of dozens of homes and several businesses along a corridor known for its international restaurants, city officials have touted the TIF as a way to capture millions for reinvestment in its poorer neighborhoods.

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