The proposed $30.4 million Osage Beach Commons Tax Increment Financing project for Osage Beach sailed through the TIF Commission Thursday night, May 11, after there were no objections from either the public or the commission.

The proposed $30.4 million Osage Beach Commons Tax Increment Financing project for Osage Beach sailed through the TIF Commission Thursday night, May 11, after there were no objections from either the public or the commission.

Now, it's up to the Osage Beach Board of Aldermen to decide if the proposed 131,000-square-foot retail center will become a reality. Aldermen are expected to consider the project at a future meeting. Construction could start yet this year if developers and the city work out final contract details, with projected completion in 2019.

The TIF Commission held its obligatory public hearing on the Osage Beach Commons which included naming Alderman Kevin Rucker chairman of the group. Representatives of Osage Beach Commons developer The Staenberg Group, based in St. Louis, provided an overview of the project. TIF attorney David Bushek of Gilmore & Bell, which represents the city in the project, also provided background on the project.

Osage Beach Commons would be located where the Golden Door Motel and the vacant Jake's Steak and Fish restaurant, southeast of Osage Beach Parkway and Premium Outlets Drive. The project also includes about 10 acres of vacant or unimproved land. While no specific retail or commercial entities have been identified for the area, it would contain a mix of junior anchors, inline retail tenants, fast food and quick serve restaurants. It would not include outlet tenants.

According to the developers, the proposed tenant mix for Osage Beach Commons is complementary to the existing retail centers and outlet mall and would bring "new-to-market" tenants to Osage Beach. The primary basis for seeking the TIF support is that the proposed area is considered blighted under definitions within the Missouri TIF statutes. The focus for determining blight is on the entire area rather than individual parcels.

Developers cited these examples of blight: •Defective or inadequate street layout

•Unsanitary and unsafe conditions including lack of adequate sidewalks, environmental contamination, deteriorated lake road and vacant buildings.

•Deterioration of site improvements such as deferred maintenance of structures, poor condition of parking areas, driveways and landscaping and overall age of structures

•Improper subdivision or obsolete platting

•Conditions which endanger life or property by fire or other causes. These are vacant buildings and property, potential fire hazard resulting from age and condition of structures, possible presence of hazardous material and environmental contamination

•Economic liability including economic loss from stagnant assessed values, economic loss from extensive amount of vacant land and buildings, inability to provide tax revenues for needed city services Financials

The developer will be reimbursed only as TIF revenues are collected during the life of the TIF plan, estimated by developers as quickly as 12 years or as long as the authorized life of the TIF, which is 23 years. The project will be "pay-as-you-go" meaning the city will not use general revenue funds because the developer will provide funds up front to cover administration costs. The developer will be paid over time as TIF revenues are generated by the project. Half of the proceeds would be made available on a monthly basis and half would be paid on an annual basis after property taxes are paid each year.

TIF funds would be used for land acquisition, off-site and one-site development costs for a total of $5.52 million. Private funding totaling $20.76 million will cover building construction costs, soft costs, project fees and tenant interior finish costs. A Community Improvement District (CID) would be formed to collect up to an additional 1 percent in sales tax to cover on-site development costs and soft costs totaling $4.12 million.

City officials and developers reiterated the project would be privately financed and the city would have no financial obligations from either its general fund or through the issuance of revenue bonds.

What is Tax Increment Financing?

Tax Increment Financing is an economic development tool created by the Missouri General Assembly as a method of diverting new taxes to pay for costs associated with building a project. Cities use this tool to attract developers to build in their communities TIFs do not:

•Take money from existing revenues

•Create new taxes •Increase tax rates

•Disrupt existing revenue streams

•Create a tax abatement, only a tax redirection to approved project costs For more information, contact the City Hall at 302-2000.