Archive for Thursday, March 27, 2008

Economic slowdown delays TIF District

March 27, 2008

The current economic slowdown has put on hold the tax increment financing district that was formed to stimulate economic growth in Eudora and add to badly needed business tax base.

The project consists of 271 acres on the east 10th Street corridor of Eudora and was approved by the planning commission in August 2007.

However, an economic slowdown has caused interest on the part of businesses to wane and now TIF developer Wilson and Hoover Homes LLC estimate the project's start is about a year away.

The creation of the district would allow the developers of the Deer Valley subdivision to divert sales and property taxes to finance infrastructure improvements at the site.

Initially, Wilson and Hoover Homes was going to develop the residential area, but the amount of interest from businesses prompted the company to incorporate a proposed strip mall in the TIF district.

The developers currently are looking for businesses such as medical, professional, restaurants, daycare, gas stations and a bank to fill spaces.

Jimmy Hoover, managing member of Wilson and Hoover Homes, would especially like to anchor the business side of the development with a Hy-Vee. However, he said Hy-Vee officials have said such a project would be two to three years away.

Hoover, who spent most of this life here and still considers himself a "Eudoran," said he is committed to quality development in the district.

Hoover said the development partners turned down requests from some discount stores he felt would take away from the overall aesthetic. The developers would have the property stay vacant rather than allow such a business into the district, he said.

"We (Hoover and partner Stan Wilson) would rather just have the ground sit there," he said. "We are going to develop it with a lake and make it look nice."

Businesses still are expressing interest, but nobody has officially signed on. Hoover said he was confident once the first business was aboard, others will follow. But right now, the stagnant economy has businesses scared.

However, Hoover still is optimistic about the completion of the district.

"It will happen; it's just timing," he said. "The way the economy is, it's slow."

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