Lebanon, developer close to $18M mixed development deal

Lebanon plans to establish a new community reinvestment area along the North Broadway corridor leading out of downtown so that tax abatements can be provided to new developments, including an $18 million project to include 18 town homes, 86 apartments, a brewpub and two restaurants.

RELATED: 2 restaurants, brewpub sign letters of intent to move into proposed Lebanon development

Also, the council is to review a development agreement for the project, at 511 N. Broadway, formerly the city’s maintenance garage site.

The project is expected to “revitalize the part of the city’s downtown area in which the property is located, to provide public access, parking and other amenities, and to facilitate commercial and residential development in close proximity to the city’s downtown area, all of which are expected to enhance city tax revenues,” according to developer Jim Cohen’s proposal.

Lebanon would:

- sell the 6-acre site to Cohen’s company for $100

- cap building permit fees at $10,000

- relocate existing overhead utilities to underground along frontage

- extend pedestrian-friendly streetscape to the development

- brick sidewalks, decorative lighting, trash receptacles, street trees

- make best efforts to negotiate agreement with school district for public park space in front of Berry School

- pursue grants to connect development with downtown, Lebanon –Countryside YMCA Trail on protected bike path

- approve a 15-year Community Reinvestment Area property tax abatement.

The city purchased another 6-acre site just north of 511. N. Broadway for a new fire station, rather use the former garage site, leaving it open for the mixed-use development.

RELATED: Warren County expected to sell fairground tract for fire station

The city’s streetscape, road and park commitment would total $1 million.

Cohen’s company would:

- construct no more than 125 residential units

- construct 12,000-15,000 square feet of commercial space

- conform to renderings, approved by the city, for site design, building materials, and building construction

- begin construction within 12 months of land sale

- pay $146,000 in transportation, park impact fees

- offset loss of bus garage parking as requested by school

- reach agreement with Warren County Port Authority for financing

- negotiate compensation agreement with Lebanon City Schools

Businesses committing to the project were Cozy’s Café & Pub in Liberty Twp., Butler County, and Two Cities Pizza in Mason, Warren County, as well as the Casual Pint, a Knoxville-based chain with locations in Mason, Loveland and the Oakley neighborhood of Cincinnati.

Cohen is proposing $18 million in construction improvements.

Despite the tax abatement, the development would still bring in $241,850 in annual property taxes, $40,211 to the city, according to the city’s economic analysis.

In addition, the city projects $65,000 in annual income tax and $1.1 million in “annual total spending power” due to the development.

The council is to discuss the development deal and tax abatement area at a work session to begin at 7 p.m. today at city hall 50 S. Broadway in Lebanon.

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