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TIF grant OK’d for apartment complex

Madison Mathews • Oct 12, 2012 at 9:50 PM

The planned $2 million-plus, three-story, 26-unit luxury apartment complex to be constructed at the corner of South Roan Street and State of Franklin Road is moving forward thanks to the Johnson City Development Authority’s approval of a $25,000 tax increment financing grant for the project.

Following a recommendation from the TIF Advisory Committee, the Johnson City Development Authority on Friday unanimously approved the request from Main Street Partners LLC for the TIF grant to assist with demolition and infrastructure improvements.

This was the second request from Main Street Partners that the TIF Advisory Committee had considered.

Washington County Economic Development Council CEO Robert Reynolds said this request was more in line with TIF law as far as taking care of blighted areas and bettering public infrastructure.

“So this request certainly lines up with TIF law much better than doing a tax abatement or a refund of property tax,” he said. “This is part of that process to spur new economic growth and generate tax revenue in the TIF district.”

Demolition costs are estimated at just under $20,000 and the cost to replace the sidewalk along State of Franklin Road is estimated at $5,000.

The plan is to demolish two buildings at 405 and 407 S. Roan St. to make way for the complex. The planned building, which will sit next to Olde Town Lofts, will include a rooftop deck, outdoor seating areas, an elevator, interior and exterior gardens and a retail space that could be used as a coffee shop.

Initial plans show the 27,000-square-foot mixed-use building will have two- and three-bedroom apartments that range from 635 square feet to 1,056 square feet.

“I think it will be a nice gateway coming down Roan Street into downtown; it’s going to fit with the architecture but will be a little bit new,” Main Street Partners’ Grant Summers said.

Summers said demolition on the two buildings in expected to begin next week.

In other business, Reynolds gave JCDA members an update on Northeast State Community College’s teaching site at the Downtown Centre.

Representatives from the college were unable to attend Friday’s meeting.

Shaw and Shanks, the project’s architecture firm, has recommended the college move forward with some of the remediation work, particularly in the area of the grounds and parking garage.

Reynolds said the school is in talks to request the JCDA help finance those issues that they would pay for through rent.

“We’re early in those discussions. We think it will be of benefit because they would be basically paying to enhance our building,” he said.

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