As much as $350 million could be invested in development of Austin Landing South, the project proposed in Springboro across Austin Boulevard from the existing mixed-use development, according to Springboro City Manager Christine Thompson.
That would be 10 times $35 million of potential public investment in roads and other infrastructure Springboro could provide to support the project to be constructed on about 60 acres, just east of Interstate 75, on the southwest corner of Austin Boulevard and Ohio 741, Main Street in Springboro.
On Friday, local officials and developer Larry Dillin said the 10 percent public share was necessary to make the project a reality.
“To develop a special project of this magnitude requires a public/private investment partnership to accomplish creation of space that is both special and lasting. That’s my commitment to Springboro and theirs to me,” Dillin said in a statement.
Thompson said the city government was considering the financial commitment to the project - on some of the last undeveloped acres within Springboro’s city limits - in hopes of securing “the best thing for the Springboro region.”
“This is an unusual opportunity. There are a broad spectrum of opportunities and development possibilities,” Thompson said. “So we need to be open to examine all of them.”
The Warren County Port Authority is preparing to finance as much as $35 million for Springboro to use in “acquiring, constructing, and equipping certain public improvements in connection with the Austin Landing South project”.
Earlier this month, the authority board approved a resolution in preparation for the financing, as well as a cooperative agreement with the city to help with the project, located in Montgomery County.
On Thursday night, Thompson and Assistant City Manager Chris Pozzuto said they were unaware of the port authority financing resolution and indicated the amount to be borrowed and repaid through diversion of property taxes on the improvements was yet to be determined.
“We don’t have all of the numbers yet,” Thompson said after contacting port authority officicials about the resolution, approved on July 10 by the port board.
There has been no public presentation on Austin Landing South. Few details have been provided.
Dillin recently described his vision as “a mixed-use development that can readily adapt to the changing retail industry.”
RELATED: What’s next at Austin Landing?
How much of the development winds up residential, commercial or retail has yet to be determined.
Thompson has expressed hope Austin Landing South is developed as Levis Commons was by Dillin in the Toledo area.
In emails obtained by the newspaper, Dillin indicated Austin Landing South would be “pedestrian oriented and created at a quality level comparable to Levis Commons- complete with clock tower and fountains.”
Earlier this year, the entire city council and staff spent the night at the Hilton Inn at Levis Commons. During the trip, the Springboro group was to tour the development, hear a presentation from Dillin and meet with local officials involved in the Levis Commons development in the Perrysburg area.
On July 10, the Warren County Port Authority approved an agreement, mirroring one already approved by the Springboro council, establishing a partnership in developing Austin Landing South - although the land is in the Montgomery County portion of Springboro.
Austin Landing South “is expected to enhance, foster, aid, provide, and promote economic development within the City and the State by creating and preserving jobs and employment opportunities and enhancing the availability of adequate housing in the City and improving the economic and general well-being of the people of the State of Ohio,” according to the resolution.
“The Authority is possessed of broad powers relating to economic development and the creation and preservation of jobs and employment opportunities,” according to the cooperative agreement.
The other resolution indicates the financing would be used by the port authority to “reimburse” the city or developer for infrastructure, such as roads and utilities.
It indicates Springboro is expected to use money from a tax incremental financing fund set up for the Austin Development District - land in the four quadrants around the interchange in Miamisburg, Miami Twp . and Springboro. Property taxes from building improvements typically comprise tax incremental financing funds.
But no development agreement has been reached between the port authority, Dillin, acting on behalf of Springboro Landing Associates, and the city.
The resolution including the $35 million figure fulfills “an IRS requirement allowing future tax revenue to be used for developer public improvements. We were given that number as an estimate, but the plans are not ready to the best of my knowledge. We are waiting for their and the city’s lead,” Martin Russell, deputy administrator in Warren County, said in an email.
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