Dierbergs Decides Against New TIF

The City posted the following on their Facebook Page:

Dierbergs Markets and D3 Commercial Realty Group have requested the cancellation of the TIF Commission meeting previously scheduled for July 14, 2021.

In a letter to the TIF Commission, Dierbergs noted they are “excited about and committed to our Proposal, and we look forward to building on the great work that the City, the TIF Commission and their representatives have done to date.”

Dierbergs intends to continue their redevelopment project using the Tax Increment Financing District that was created in 2016. This means “the City of Crestwood, Lindbergh School District and other taxing districts will realize full tax revenue more than five (5) years earlier than anticipated.” City Administrator Kris Simpson stated, “We look forward to continue working with Dierbergs to make their portion of this project a reality and bring new life to the former Crestwood Mall site.”

As previously stated, the co-developer for the remainder of the project, McBride Homes, will not require a TIF on their portion of the development (approximately 22.5 acres).

For contact information:
Kris Simpson

So what does that mean?

Basically – instead of requesting a new TIF to replace the old one, Dierbergs decided to just use the TIF that already exists on this site. This change in tactic has raised a few questions – such as….

Why didn’t they just do this months ago – I agree that would have been easier, but there have been a lot of “moving parts” with this development and apparently they previously felt that a new TIF might be needed. For example, Dierbergs stated that they have been working to acquire the two “out-lots” (Music City and Calverts Auto). The eminent domain ability of the old TIF expired and they felt they might need that tool to acquire these properties. Per Dierberg’s letter to the TIF commission, they no longer feel they need that tool.

What about the boundaries of the TIF – The existing TIF covers the entire site and the new one was to only cover the retail portion. Dierbergs has stated that they will ask the TIF commission to adjust the boundaries of the existing TIF to only cover the retail portion, excluding the proposed residential portion. This request requires a 45-day posted notice, so I expect the TIF Commission will meet again after that time to discuss this request.

When does the existing TIF Expire – State law limits any TIF to 23 years. The existing TIF was created in 2016 so it will expire in 2039. If a new TIF had been created to replace the old one, it would have expired in 2044. This is great news for the residents of Crestwood. The 50/50 cost sharing of the TIF will expire 5 years earlier than we previously thought so 100% of new tax revenues will flow to the city/county/etc. that much faster.

What about the amount of the TIF – The existing TIF has a repayment amount of $15M, but Dierbergs was only pursuing $13.5M in the new TIF. I haven’t heard answers on this detail, so we’ll need to see how this turns out. That said – the existing TIF only has 17.5 years remaining and it will be another year or two before this site could be completed, so that leaves 15-16 years of 50/50 sales taxes to fund the repayment. Given that they planned to earn $13.5M in 23 years, that would lead one to doubt that they could earn $15M in fewer years. Stay tuned.

Is this a delay in the schedule – Perhaps, but probably not. Dierbergs and McBride had already submitted their site construction plans to the city for review and approval. That process is still in progress and that is what will really drive the schedule.

Are they still moving forward – Yes. Dierbergs restated their commitment to this project and are still proceeding with all of the approvals and additional land purchases needed to make it happen. Given the past failures at this site, we are all a bit nervous about progress, but even though this is a change in strategy, it is great news for us and reflects the commitment of Dierbergs/McBride to make this happen.