The Plan Commission set a pair of public hearings to consider changes to a distressed tax increment finance district to accommodate plans for a $23 million mixed-use facility on the site of the former Central School in Superior.
The proposed changes would include removing the site where P&R Properties plans to build Central Flats from the distressed TIF and creating a new one for the project.
Twice since the school was razed in 2004, there have been proposals for mixed-use development on the site, which would provide commercial space on the ground floor and apartments. One project fell through after the school district declined to sell the land to the developer. Then in 2008, a similar proposal was lofted, but never came to fruition because of an economic recession.
“This is a project people have been waiting for, for a very long time,” Mayor Jim Paine said.
Back in 2008, the city and Redevelopment Authority created TIF No. 11, which encompasses most of the land from Belknap Street to North 13th Street east of Grand Avenue to the Blaine Business Center, which allowed the city to buy and raze 22 homes in the area for development.
“Of course, you know what happened in 2008,” said Jason Serck, economic development, port and planning director, referring to the recession. “It took us a while to get moving.”
In 2013, the city distressed TIF No. 11 because it didn’t generate enough tax increment revenue to pay back the debt incurred to clear the area for development. Using revenue generated by another tax increment district in North End, TIF No. 7, the city was able to cover the debt.
Since then, the Grand Central Plaza and Onyx Apartments were built in No. 11 and now the district generates enough revenue to cover that debt, and the city will likely retire TIF No. 7 in the next year, Serck said.
Because TIF No. 11 was distressed; however, the city cannot make expenditures from it even though it is now covering expenses, Serck said.
The new TIF created, No. 15, would encompass the Central Flats site to help with development costs.
“The city of Superior will be contributing about $5.5 million to this project,” Serck said. “That’s our proposal. We’ll be borrowing some of that, but most of it will be pay as you go. They will send us a tax payment and we’ll refund the tax payment for about 15 years.”
P&R Properties, which is building Central Flats, also built 320 North and the Onyx Apartments in Superior, and the Village Apartments south of the city.
Plans for Central Flats include building commercial space along Belknap Street in a building that offers 130 apartments that include one and two-bedroom units, studio and efficiency units.
The building will be set back from Belknap Street so it doesn’t get in the way of Cathedral or the functioning of the street, Serck said.
The public hearings are set for the Plan Commission’s next meeting at 4 p.m. Sept. 11 in Room 201 of the Government Center.