Tomorrow the Board of Estimate & Apportionment -- composed of Mayor Francis Slay, Board of Aldermen President Jim Shrewsbury and Comptroller Green -- will vote on a TIF-financed redevelopment plan for the mall and its accompanying office tower. The plan is different from most TIFs, in which developers are responsible for debts if their projects fail to generate enough tax revenues to cover project costs. In this case, Pyramid, the developer, is asking the city to back $14.5 million of the project's nearly $37 million price tag.
The mayor, as he indicated in a recent blog post, plans to vote in favor of the plan (which the Board of Aldermen approved last week). Green is staunchly opposed.
"It puts the city's general revenue fund at risk for payment," says John Farrell, the comptroller's spokesman. "And we're already paying more than a million dollars a year out of our general revenues to cover the debts of the only other TIF of this kind: the one for the St. Louis Marketplace [on Manchester Avenue].
"Plus, whether the project is successful or not, it will affect the city's credit rating. It's considered debt by credit agencies."
Shrewsbury is the swing vote. We'll let you know when he returns our call.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.