Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Anderson gets permits for work at Midway Station but says he no longer wants tax-increment financing

Initial development of retail in Midway Station is to be bounded by
Georgetown Road, Woody Stephens Boulevard and Lacefield Street
(Click on image to see a larger, clearer version)
Midway Station developer Dennis Anderson is planning to start work on the project but no longer wants to redevelop the property's roads and other infrastructure with taxpayer-increment financing, Mayor Grayson Vandegrift told the Midway City Council Monday night.

The council approved three encroachment permits, allowing Anderson to develop properties along city streets. Vandegrift said the three lots will be occupied by two retail stores, yet to be announced, and a convenience store.

The start of development indicates that Anderson will buy the property under a longstanding agreement with the Woodford County Economic Development Authority, which developed it as an industrial park more than 20 years ago but attracted little industry.

Saddled by payments on the debt incurred for the initial development, the EDA and the city turned the property into a potential residential and commercial development, with Anderson making the payments in return for the right to develop the property.

Anderson proposed to redevelop the property with tax-increment financing (TIF), in which most of the additional tax revenue generated by the development is used to repay the developer for the work on streets, parking lots, utilities and so on.

However, state officials said the property was not "blighted," and thus only the new property-tax revenue could be used, not payroll taxes. Anderson had been negotiating with city and county officials about revisions to the ordinance that made Midway Station a TIF district, but recently said he didn't want it, Vandegrift said in an interview.

Anderson, who has several developments in Lexington, has said that he had secured financing for the project. He has not returned a call seeking comment.

Vandegrift said the city still owes about $34,000 in legal fees related to drafting of the TIF ordinance, but will recoup the money and probably more in taxes from the development.

In other business, the council enacted the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and gave final approval to the previously discussed increase in garbage rates.

It also issued a permit that will allow alcohol to be sold and consumed outdoors during the Midsummer Nights in Midway events being sponsored by Midway Renaissance June 24, July 22 and Aug. 19. The events will include local bourbon and beer, live music and vendors.

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