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Redevelopment plans for former Oak Ridge Mall site move forward | News

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Redevelopment plans for former Oak Ridge Mall site move forward
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Plans to redevelop the former Oak Ridge Mall continue to move forward.

North Carolina-based developer Crosland Southeast announced plans Tuesday to name the mixed-use project "Main Street Oak Ridge."

Plans call for existing retail anchors Belk, JC Penney, Cinemark Theaters, and Super Walmart to remain on the property and receive a facelift. The project will add new national retail stores and restaurants, along with a 150 multi-family home residential area, a Class-A office building, and a hotel.

The Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board and City Council will meet in special-called meetings on Monday, Sept. 29 to discuss adjustments to tax increment financing for the project. The IDB meeting begins at 4 p.m. and the city council meeting starts at 7 p.m.

Original plans called for a 20-year TIF, but city leaders now believe a 30-year plan would be most effective. TIFs allow the developer to invest money typically owed for taxes into infrastructure for the length of the financing agreement.

City leaders also will ask the council to consider paying for public infrastructure improvements around the project and seek permission to apply for a $1 million U.S. Economic Development Administration grant to help.

If the financing is approved as planned, Crosland Southeast hopes to begin demolition in early 2015. The developer hopes to complete the project sometime in the third quarter of 2016.

City leaders say they already have commitments and letters of intent from retailers for the project, but can't reveal those plans at this time.

The project is expected to create almost one thousand new jobs and bring in an additional $2 million in tax revenues each year.

Private financing for the project is expected to add up to about $80 million.


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