Crestwood TIF Update
Dierbergs has withdrawn its request for $17 million in subsidies ($13.5 million via tax-increment financing [TIF] and $3.5 million from a community improvement district [CID]) to redevelop the Crestwood mall site. However, it’s not a win for taxpayers.
Dierbergs has decided instead to use the TIF that was approved for the site in 2016 for a different developer but was never acted on. The previously approved TIF is for $15 million, a slightly higher amount than the one in Dierbergs’ proposal. But TIF projects can only be active for a maximum of 23 years, and because this one was approved in 2016, it will only have 18 years available. It appears that there will still not be a request for funds for the residential portion of the development
The 2016 proposal also included a $5 million CID and $5 million transportation development district (TDD). A Dierbergs representative said the company will be asking for a CID that is less than $5 million and will not use both a CID and TDD to develop this site. If this remains true, the overall size of the subsidy package will be slightly smaller than the overall $25 million proposal in 2016. But it’s possible that this new avenue will give Dierbergs access to even more taxpayer dollars than its proposal from a few months ago.
It’s unfortunate that taxpayer dollars are being used to develop this area at all. Sure, there’s a shorter timeframe for the TIF and no subsidy for the residential portion, but that’s small consolation. What was true in 2016 is still true today: A TIF at this location is just a way for lawmakers to look like they are “doing something” about this long-empty location at the expense of taxpayers. Hopefully in the future, Crestwood can do better for taxpayers by not offering their dollars to developers at all.