Note: This Nov. 14 e-mail from an attorney representing mall redeveloper Crosland Southeast was written in response to a nullification proposal submitted by Oak Ridge City Council member Trina Baughn to Anderson County officials.
I represent Crosland in connection with the proposed Economic Impact Plan for the Redevelopment of the Oak Ridge Mall Economic Development Area (the “Economic Impact Plan”). The Economic Impact Plan has been approved by the Industrial Development Board of the City of Oak Ridge (the “IDB”) and the City Council for the City of Oak Ridge, and it is on the agenda for the Nov. 18 meeting of the Board of Commissioners of Anderson County. I would like to respond to Ms. Baughn’s suggestion that the tax increment financing (“TIF”) funding for the redevelopment of the Oak Ridge Mall be nullified if at least 65 percent of the planned new retail square footage is not completed by December 2018.
As has been explained by Ray Evans in the meetings of the Anderson County Operations Committee and the Budget Committee, the proposed redevelopment of the Oak Ridge Mall requires a public-private partnership. After carefully reviewing the project’s pro forma, the city officials who have been involved in negotiating the incentives with Crosland were convinced that there was a funding gap of $13 million that could be bridged by the use of the TIF funding. Without that $13 million in TIF funding, the project would not go forward. [Read more…]