The plan is called "Township 28" and would include a 138 unit apartment complex near Sequiota Park.
Apartment Developer and Executive Director of TLC Properties Sam Coryell feels this $10 million project would be a great boost for the local economy. He's hoping Springfield's City Council will vote to "blight" the 75 acre area-- which would allow him a tax abatement. Coryell says without the abatement, there's just no way he can build there.
"I see this as being a catalyst to redevelop an area of town that most Springfieldians have wanted to see redeveloped," says Coryell.
Coryell now owns seven of the 75 acres he's trying to get a tax abatement on to redevelop Galloway.
Springfield City Councilman Craig Hosmer says designating the area "blighted" is a public policy issue. He says an economic incentive manual put out by the city basically says the blighted tax abatement should be used only in the urban core, which is Springfield's downtown area.
"What we are doing by blighting that and giving tax abatement, is we are saying that person doesn't have to pay their fair share of property taxes," says Hosmer. "The wealthy that have big developments should be paying their fair share in property taxes, and the small homeowners should be paying their fair share, and when everyone does that you have good schools, good libraries, good services."
Coryell says without a tax abatement, the project is just too costly.
"It's around $300,000-$350,000 just to do the public improvements it would take to get the land to a point where I could build on it," says Coryell. "It cannot happen without some help."
Hosmer says he just wants to make sure the city is being fair to all developers.
"We've got $50 million per year we are losing in property taxes in the city of Springfield because we've chosen certain developments to be taken off tax rolls," says Hosmer. "And it's going to be more and more."
Coryell says none of the approximately 3,000 units his company currently manages have tax abatements.
"All my other projects, we pay full valuation taxes on," he says. "And I wouldn't have sought this one if I could find any other way to do it"
The issue was tabled at Monday night's council meeting so council members can discuss it more and revisit the issue in two weeks.
"What we are looking at is should this project be paying property taxes or not?" says Hosmer. "And if it doesn't, it will be taking tenants away from places that do pay property taxes and that to me is just one of those things that doesn't sound fair."
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