If at First You Don’t Succeed . . .
Try, try again, right? Unfortunately, that seems to be the motto developers are using with the Crestwood Plaza mall site. New developers are seeking tax-increment financing (TIF) and other taxpayer assistance to develop the long-vacant site into a subdivision and grocery store. This isn’t the first time that developers have tried to get government assistance to develop this property.
In 2016, $25 million in government assistance (including TIF and special taxing districts) was approved for this site but the developers never moved forward with the plans. It’s not yet clear exactly what developers will be asking for this time, but whatever it is, it’s too much. Crestwood is not a blighted community and even if the property is an eyesore, there is no reason for government to be giving out incentives for this property. There’s already a Schnucks and an Aldi right across the street. Do we really need subsidies to build another grocery store in this area? And is it fair to the existing stores to have the government subsidizing their competition?
Using taxpayer dollars to fund private projects isn’t a good idea. Developers aren’t going to quit asking for these unfair advantages, but lawmakers need to stop giving them out