Family Dollar Coming to Willow Springs
Wed, 08/26/2020 - 12:23pm admin
The Willow Springs City Council passed two ordinances at the regular meeting on August 20 to express the City’s intention to consider a proposal from developer Guffey Properties, LLC to redevelop an area in the city that will be the site of both a Family Dollar retail store and a Community Improvement District (CID) which will be funded by Tax Increment Financing (TIF).
With the unanimous passing of the ordinances, the Board of Alderman expressed that it is the intent of the City to move forward with the TIF and the funding agreement
As reported by City Administrator Beverly Hicks, Willow Springs has an area downtown,”...we would consider a blighted area,” specifically, a block at the intersection of East Main and Cherry Streets. A derelict motel has stood empty with doors barred for several years at the location.
The developer will be closing the real estate deal this week, Hicks said. The eventual intention is to build a retail store, Family Dollar, on the site. The motel buildings will be leveled to the ground.
“Their plan is to mould their store and inventory to provide what our town does not have,” explained Hicks.
To recoup a portion of their $1.2 million investment in Willow Springs, the developer has requested the City to create a TIF and a future CID. The TIF would be created for a period of 23 years. This particular act is eligible as a TIF because the developer is pouring more than a million dollars into a “blighted” area, Hicks reported.
Since the Aldermen passed both Ordinances 1558 and 1559, an upcoming step will include the creation of an oversight committee for the TIF, a “TIF commission.” Mayor Fair will be joined by one Alderman, the City Administrator, the City Attorney, and two members of the community at large. Specific individuals who will serve on the commission will be determined at a later date.
The City will not incur any expenses in the development, but consumers can expect to pay a higher sales tax rate in the CID when it is created eventually. In this way, the developer will recover some of their investment. At this time, the CID will include only one business: the future Family Dollar.
The Aldermen reacted positively to the developer’s plan.
Alderwoman Susan Rackley commented, “We need businesses.”
Alderman Phil Knott agreed, saying, “It would be a great deal for our town,” and “We need that motel gone.”
The Council exhibited a general enthusiasm about this development in Willow Spring and unanimously passed a Motion to make an exception to a zoning ordinance requiring five feet of setback for retail stores to facilitate the developer’s initial plans.