Friday, March 13, 2015

Aldermen Approve Truman’s Marketplace TIF Plan

RED Legacy Aims for April 3 Groundbreaking

By Mary Wilson

On Tuesday, March 3, the Grandview Board of Aldermen gave the final approval on the second amended and restated Truman’s Marketplace Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Redevelopment Plan. A week earlier, the final public hearing for the TIF plan was heard, and the aldermen moved to postpone the final vote until their next meeting, in order to comply with giving a ten days’ notice.

As previously reported, the major component of the redevelopment effort has changed from a reconstruction to primarily a remodel of existing structures. Managing Partner of RED Legacy, Bart Lowen, presented the aldermen with elevation visuals as well as an explanation of what RED will be remodeling and how it will look when completed.

“One question we wanted to address is where we’re at with our tenants,” said Lowen. “Time kills deals, and that is the case in some cases, but we’re happy to tell you that, through this entire effort, of the approximately eighty-percent of the tenants that we had in lease in the former plan, all but one is moving forward with us. So, roughly seventy-five percent of the tenants in this project are still there today.”

Lowen added that his team has been working with those tenants to incorporate their businesses into the new site plan. RED will work with them to amend the signed leases to provide for the changes to the shopping center. Some were shifted or moved to accommodate the remodel effort.

“Burlington, for instance, is now on the south end of the site,” said Lowen. “We had to move them into an existing location.”

Of those seventy-five percent of tenants, Lowen said half of them have signed amended leases. One major tenant RED is still working with to sign an amended lease is Price Chopper, yet Lowen was confident that the grocer remains committed to the project. When the lease with Price Chopper is executed, RED will be well into the sixty-percent leased capacity range on the project for tenants.

Security has been an issue that’s remained prevalent in the plans for the shopping center, and Lowen stated that a good security program remains intact with the amended plan. There will be security cameras on the buildings as well as in parking areas. There will also be a patrolling effort during business hours. Along with the security efforts, shoppers will see new parking lots, upgraded landscaping, and a new street that will run through the project with lighting and upgraded facades.

“It just creates an atmosphere that is a little bit more of an uplifting atmosphere that really helps to add to the security effort of the project,” said Lowen.

The elevation and look of the project has remained fairly constant, even with the changes from redevelopment to remodel. RED has made some tweaks and changes to the look of some buildings to accommodate the remodel effort, but the walkable environment the aldermen were looking for in the beginning has remained the focus.

“All the buildings remain; it’s just a façade renovation,” said Lowen. “This project right now is very flat, and we’ll start to create and add some character into the plan. We’ll be applying quite a bit of materials to the existing walls in order to create the façade upgrade the project will receive. This clearly is well more than a can of paint.”

Moving forward, RED will wait for the Grandview Board of Aldermen to approve the Paramaters Bond Ordinance and Bond Documents on March 24, and will then move forward with the purchase of the shopping center two days later on March 26. RED is prepared for a groundbreaking event to occur on Friday, April 3, provided everything in the next month goes smoothly.

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