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Huge development to change downtown


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Riverfront Holdings II LLC submitted plans for a mixed use development that will change the look of the Northern Wilmington Skyline.

The development is asking the city for reimbursements for public infrastructure including streets, water and sewer. The city council has just received the plans, but seem receptive to the idea, which they say could save the city money in the long run.

The plans call for 4 hotels, 726,000 square feet of office space, 240,000 sq ft of commercial/retail, 900 residential units and a marina with 185 spaces that can accommodate yachts up to a 110 feet long. Work on the Marina will begin in the next 60 days and if all goes well a hotel closest to the new convention center would be ready to open at the same time the new convention center and Indigo hotel open in early 2010.

Starnews story with plans.

Here is a a video clip from WECT channel 6 June 5th.

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Jeepers, that is huge. Although there are some elements that are planned for the short term, this is a 20-year master plan for the area. Seems the developer wants TIF financing for the roads and utilities in the project. To me, that sounds like a pretty reasonable use of TIF, but I'm still a bit leery of that method of financing.

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Hey gang. Orulz and I have seen all the TIF debates in the Raleigh forum. It mostly centers on parking decks. The fundamental question is more about is or should a parking deck be counted as purely public infrastructure. Debatable. I think its clearer though for roads, water and sewer. These elements have historically been paid for by municipalities. In fact this has been a primary reason for incorporation...establishing the taxing power in a government to be able to provide these things. No matter the form of repayment on the accounting sheet, whether TIF, or bonds up front, increases tax value is the gamble that enables a government to provide these things. In the case of textile communities in the piedmont, this gamble lost out years later when large water and sewer facilities lost their primary customers and actually large sewer plants cannot operate without adequate flow through them. In this case, TIF is probably safer than bonds, and in my book, appropriate for the largest road and trunk water and sewer lines.

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