By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer
WEST CHESTER TWP. - Trustees are considering granting at least $4 million in tax increment financing over nearly 20 years to a mall developer at Union Centre Boulevard and Interstate 75.
The Streets of West Chester expects to open in June with a movie theater and restaurants, said David Kass, president of Continental Retail Development. Shops and about 400 apartments or condominiums also are expected to get under way soon.
Kass wants tax increment financing (TIF) for his $100 million project because he has invested $25 million so far. Some of those costs include paying for infrastructure such as roads and utilities for his development, which is on the southeast corner of the interchange. The infrastructure, he says, lays the groundwork for other, future development east of the interchange.
Now, development at Union Centre is west of the expressway.
He told trustees in a Tuesday work session that he expects his lifestyle center to generate $12 million in property taxes over the next 20 years.
But West Chester trustees were lukewarm to the proposal and did not give Kass a decision.
"He is asking for in excess of $7 million when you count the interest, which also has to come out of the tax revenue off that development," Trustee Catherine Stoker said. "... We need to examine whether or not that might be overreaching supporting the development with future income."
Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens cautioned trustees to preserve money out of TIF funding already in the Union Centre area to pay for needed improvements west of I-75.
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