TIF Commission holds public hearing into Chesterfield redevelopment plan | New

About 50 people attended a public hearing on Nov. 1 regarding the Chesterfield Regional Tax Increment Financing (TIF) plan and proposed redevelopment, which encompasses the Chesterfield Mall redevelopment project, part of Central Park and the continued development of Wildhorse Village (contained within what is known as the southwest quadrant of the village of Chesterfield).

In Missouri, the use of TIF is permitted for the “redevelopment of an area in decline or to induce the development of an area deficient in growth and development”.

However, it must first be established that the redevelopment area, as a whole, falls into one of the following area types, as defined by state tax increase allocation law. land on redevelopment (TIF Act): degraded area, conservation area or economic development Region.

PGAV Planners, LLC, was hired in December 2021 to provide recommendations for the redevelopment of the southwest quadrant; the end result of which was a determination that the redevelopment area qualifies as degraded.

Wildhorse Village on November 9

On Nov. 1, Chesterfield Planning Director Justin Wyse gave a presentation on TIF’s proposed $353 million project for the 241-acre redevelopment area bounded by Wild Horse Creek Road and S. Outer 40 Road at the north, Clarkson Road to the east, Chesterfield Parkway to the south and the waterfront corridor to the west.

When TIF Commissioner Doug Beach asked why the area was considered degraded, Wyse replied that the redevelopment area must contain property that can be classified as degraded or a conservation area, even if it is not the whole area, and benefits considerably from the redevelopment project.

Dillard store at Chesterfield Shopping Center

Dillard store at Chesterfield Shopping Center

In this case, only the Chesterfield Mall property is considered degraded. In arguing for the decision, the redevelopment plan drafted by PGAV noted the mall’s high vacancy rate (84%), graffiti inside the Dillard parking lot, proliferation of litter and vegetation on its car parks, a lack of after-hours security and site improvement deterioration primarily in relation to the vacant Dillard site.

“These elements reinforce the argument that the state of the property encourages vagrancy and other negative social behaviors. It is also likely that unsecured areas, including parking lots, could attract minors and other offenders. These conditions constitute substantial evidence that the redevelopment area is unsanitary or unsafe in its current state,” the report states.

“Unsanitary or unsafe” are conditions that indicate burning under state law.

Following the 1993 flood, the City of Chesterfield used TIF to improve and develop the Chesterfield Valley. This TIF is widely respected as a successful and appropriate use of the funding mechanism.

Under the TIF, the assessed value of real estate in a given redevelopment area is frozen for tax purposes at the current base level (first year), prior to the construction of any improvements. As the property is improved, the taxable value of real estate within the redevelopment area increases above the base level and a “tax increase” is produced on the increase. Known as “payments in lieu of taxes,” the additional taxes are paid by the landlord, with the city allocating these funds to specifically identified projects. Taxes on economic activities, 50% of the increase in taxes on sales and public services, are also levied.

During public comments, former Chesterfield council member Ben Keathley noted that the shopping center had continuous tenants and had been bought and sold on several occasions over the past few years.

“Comparing this to a disaster area like Chesterfield Valley is dishonest,” he said.

Keathley also suggested that tax districts in the region would not benefit from the TIF during its (expected) 23-year term. He suggested it would cost school districts more than $200 million.

“Those who will benefit are not the same ones who are asked to bear the risk,” he said.

As to exactly how the TIF and the redevelopment of the area would affect the area, TIF Commissioner Patty Bedborough asked why the town chose to use the flat

complexes located outside the city as examples for the analysis of schooling. Bedborough is the chief financial officer of the Parkway School District.

In response, Wyse said current apartment complexes in Chesterfield have a more suburban character and that these new developments will appeal to a different demographic.

“You’re not going to see the same number of families move into a third-story apartment on a downtown main street as you do into a half-acre single-family home,” he said.

Parkway and the Rockwood School District oppose the use of TIF, saying the density of developments would add more students to districts.

In a letter to the City of Chesterfield, Parkway Superintendent Dr Keith Marty wrote: ‘The project as proposed includes over 3,350 new residential units in Parkway and Rockwood. This represents approximately 835 new students. By 2030, we project that the cost of educating those 835 students will exceed $16 million per year.

The majority of these new students (about 800) will be at Parkway, according to Marty’s letter.

Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation said there was a “huge gap” between the information provided by the city and what school districts are claiming regarding density and projected additional students.

The city estimated that the new developments would only add 236 students, since the majority of the additional housing created will be apartments and townhouses.

Nation said both sides started making efforts to address this, but over time there was still a disconnect. Recently, municipal staff again met with school officials. “Unfortunately, this meeting didn’t really change anyone’s mind,” he said.

Rockwood’s mother, Jessica Risenhoover, said she supports the redevelopment plan but not TIF because it would negatively impact school districts.

“Public schools have been under attack for three years by those with a political agenda,” Risenhoover said. “This political war not only gave us unqualified school board members, it also caused the failure of a proposal (Prop P) that Rockwood needed.”

She said the city is asking residents to take money intended for schools and in turn use it for roads and parking structures.

“The moment we cut funding for our public schools, they start to fail, then our property values ​​go down, then our community falls apart,” she said.

Public infrastructure improvements associated with the TIF regional redevelopment plan would include parking garages and new roads. Specifically, Wildhorse Village proposed a parking garage at the northwest corner of Chesterfield Parkway West and Burkhardt Place at an estimated cost of $25 million. The Chesterfield Mall public infrastructure will include a public use parking garage and off-site road improvements/connections at an estimated cost of $105 million.

Additionally, at a TIF education meeting hosted by the city on October 20, City Administrator Mike Geisel noted that when the city’s Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2020, 29 improvements to infrastructure have been identified with an estimated cost of $168 million. They included:

• North Outer 40 connection to Chesterfield Valley

• Extension of the Sachs public library

• Clarkson Road/Baxter Interchange

• Reconstruction of Chesterfield Parkway West

• Central Park/aquatic facility/amphitheater

• Integrated pedestrian and multimodal connections

• YMCA shared parking structure

• Central Park parking and administration facilities

David Stokes, director of municipal policy for the Show-Me-Institute, was perhaps the most vocal opponent of the TIF. In his arguments, he said he believed school districts had a better understanding of how population density affects the number of students in a district. He also referred to the PGAV consultant’s determination that the area is degraded.

“This area is not destroyed,” Stokes said. “It’s one of the richest and most successful parts of the state; to claim that it is destroyed is absurd.

He called the redevelopment plan process a “joke” and said PGAV was being paid by the developer to say the area was degraded.

“The plan is to do a development for hundreds of millions of dollars and then run away with hundreds of millions of dollars of other tax districts’ money,” Stokes said.

However, the TIF also had supporters.

Michael Doster, who works for the Staenberg Group, which is developing the mall property, spoke as a resident of Chesterfield. He spoke of improvements to the Chesterfield Valley TIF suite, including the extension of Baxter Road, providing quick access to Chesterfield Valley and Interstate 64.

“The extension of Baxter Road has enhanced the value of this location in terms of the quality of life we ​​enjoy and in terms of land value,” he said.

Doster also pointed out that the mall was worth over $19 million appraised in 2012, dropping to just $2 million in 2020. Similarly, the theater was worth $7 million in 2012, which is dropped to $723,000.

“This train has been coming for 10 years,” he said.

Kelli Unnerstall, representing Citizens for Chesterfield Town Center Development, said the group has been following the planning process for Wildhorse Village and Chesterfield Town Center since its inception and is in favor of the TIF.

“We have worked hard to ensure that our members and the general public are well informed about the development plan and the TIF,” she said. Citizens for Developing Downtown Chesterfield organized the education meeting on October 20 in conjunction with the city.

The next step in the TIF process is for the leaders of the municipality (city council) to vote on whether or not to pass an ordinance approving the redevelopment plan, the redevelopment projects and the designation of the redevelopment area.

To this end, the TIF Commission was to meet again on November 15 and make a recommendation to the city council. This meeting took place after press time.

Chesterfield is already preparing to send out information flyers at a cost of $10,000 regarding the proposed tax increment financing (TIF) for the development area which includes Chesterfield Mall and Wildhorse Village in addition to part of Central Park.

At the Nov. 7 city council meeting, a vote was taken to send out the flyers if the TIF Commission approved TIF’s $353 million proposal for the southwest quadrant of Chesterfield Village at its Nov. 15 meeting. .

Wildhorse Village November 9 2

Wildhorse Village on November 9

Aurora J. William