The developers of a proposed 16-story mixed-use apartment complex on Newtown Pike plan to ask the city and state for tax increment financing to use new property taxes generated from the project to pay for infrastructure.
Developers of the project told the Urban County Council during an information session Thursday that they want to use $2.75 million in taxes generated over 20 years to pay for new roads, street lights and sewer lines, and for moving utility lines.
Bruce Simpson, a lawyer representing Thistle Station, said developers hoped to have the application before the council in May. If approved, it would go to the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority for final approval.
Thistle Station, a $34 million project that will include 200 apartments, is slated to sit on four acres between Third and Fourth streets. In addition to the 16-story building, plans call for a two-story, 8,000-square-foot building at the back of the property, facing Fourth Street, for retail space or restaurants.
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The Urban County Council gave final approval to a zone change for the project Thursday night.
Simpson told the council that the group found during the planning process that several key utilities would have to be moved, driving up costs. The current site — which has several dilapidated buildings on it — also might need extensive environmental remediation.
"What was a $30 million project is now a $34 million project," Simpson said. Without the TIF money, those costs would have to be passed on to renters. The group wants rents to start at about $700 a month.
Kevin Atkins, the city's chief development officer, told the council the TIF would use only new property taxes generated from the project. Many TIF districts use new sales taxes and property taxes to pay for infrastructure costs. Property taxes are easier to estimate and predict.
Thistle Station is a key development in a key corridor in the city, Atkins said. Bluegrass Community and Technical College has constructed buildings nearby, and it's also close to the bars and restaurants in the popular Jefferson Street area.
"This development also plays into the redevelopment of BCTC," Atkins said.