Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
A new shopping plaza is coming to town after Gardner City Council passed a raft of ordinances and resolutions to help fund the construction of the Main Street Market Place project during a meeting Jan. 18.
The proposed project, Main Street Market Place, includes a new 60,000 sq ft Price Chopper grocery store and the redevelopment of the current store into restaurant and retail space. Super Market Developers, Inc, a subsidiary of Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), is behind the project.
The council, after holding a public hearing in which no member of the public came forward, passed a resolution declaring the city’s intent to issue Industrial Revenue Bonds amounting to $19,390,000 to finance a portion of the costs of the acquisition, construction and equipping of the proposed facility.
According to Matthew Wolff, finance director, the IRB bonds will be payable solely out of the rentals and receipts derived from the lease of the project to the company from the city.
“The bonds shall not be general obligations of the issuer nor constitute a pledge of full faith and credit of the issuer and shall not be payable in any manner by taxation,” he said.
The city also passed an ordinance authorizing the creation of a Community Improvement District (CID) and authorized the imposition of a 1 percent CID sales tax to be collected within the district.
Wolf said the developer applied for the CID designation. The CID will have a term of 22 years and is expected to raise up to $12,500,000. According to Wolff, the tax will fund the construction of the new Price Chopper store, the redevelopment of the existing store, two pad sites and existing retail stores.
The council also passed an ordinance approving the redevelopment plan for the project which will enable the developer to use Tax Incremental Financing (TIF).
The city had earlier designated the site a TIF district. According to a feasibility study, the developer has identified more than $6.5 million in TIF eligible costs.