The $125 million retail-office complex anchored by the state's first Von Maur department store could be assisted by a $25 million to $30 million town tax financing district, about half of which could help fund a large underground parking structure, a town official said Friday.
Town Administrator Rick Czopp said town officials are excited about The Corners redevelopment project planned at the high-profile location off I-94 southeast of the Barker-Blue Mound roads intersection. The town is proceeding cautiously on the tax district to make sure it is successfully and quickly paid off, he said.
"There are a lot of TIF districts that are not doing very well out there" around the state, Czopp said. "We are not going to be one of them. We would rather use caution and take longer than try to hurry."
Brookfield Patch on Wednesday highlighted a being used to help lease the sweeping project on 19 acres that includes a former Menards and Marcus cinema, as well as a strip mall and Applebee's.
Czopp said Marcus was shopping for several restaurants and was upbeat about strong interest in The Corners project.
"There’s a lot of excitement out there in the market on this thing," he said.
Czopp said it could take months yet to finalize a package for approval by the town and a joint review board comprised of town, county, state and school officials. Under a tax financing district, additional tax revenue from the project would first pay for the public improvements — sewer and water lines, roads and the parking structure, before being shared with those other government and school taxing units.
The largest costs that would be covered in the tax district would be engineering work and the parking structure that with 800 spaces could cost $12 million.
Czopp said the tax financing district, however, should be resolved in time for a 2012 groundbreaking if leases are signed and construction is ready to begin.
He said the town is trying to decide whether the boundaries of the tax district should include potential redevelopment lands to the east, where the town's master plan has called for industrial and residential improvements, or even to the north side of Blue Mound Road.
Czopp said the town doesn't want to divert too much tax base growth with the tax district, although adding more land could result it in being paid off quicker.