$200 million Bayview Market with Lowe's as anchor closer to start
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
Construction is to begin in six to eight months on the $200 million retail and office project Bayview Market in the Biscayne corridor at 17th Street, developer Ignacio Garcia Du-Quesne says.
The developer is getting a push from Omni's Community Redevelopment Agency board, made up of the five city commissioners. On Monday they approved making Bayview Market eligible for a 50% tax rebate once completed, totaling up to $20 million.
This is the first tax rebate development agreement the agency has signed with a local developer, said Community Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Jim Villacorta.
Mr. Garcia Du-Quesne is committing to build up to 535,000 square feet of retail and office space and 1,200 to 2,160 parking spots on 7.35 acres at Northeast Second Avenue and 17th Street.
The retail component is to bring big-box retailers and a supermarket to the neighborhood, including a long-announced tenant, home improvement giant Lowe's. The retailer is to occupy 135,000 square feet.
Mr. Garcia Du-Quesne said other tenants are to be revealed after groundbreaking.
The project's financing is in place, he said, adding that the next step is to finish construction documents, which is to take six to eight months.
Construction is to begin in the first quarter of 2010 and take about 18 months, he said, adding that once complete, the project's value will rise to $200 million.
With the tax increment financing arrangement, once the development is built — reaching an investment of $110 million — and 380 jobs are created, the redevelopment agency rebates the developer 50% of tax increment funding, or TIF, generated above the base year, Mr. Villacorta said.
The redevelopment agency is funded by capping the taxable value of real property in the area and collecting the tax increment above the cap as property values rise.
"It's to promote development, to encourage developers to get projects done quickly to get them on the tax roll," he said. "We are not giving them money up front. If they don't build, they don't get anything."
If the promised investment and jobs goal aren't met, the rebate would be proportionally reduced.
"We don't get any advantage out of the taxes until we have a finished product," Mr. Garcia Du-Quesne said. "We are committed to invest a minimum of $110 million of our capital before we get funding out of the tax increment program."
The 800-plus job creation will also have an economic effect in the emerging district, he said.
"We'll have a ripple effect on the surrounding properties and it will be a catalyst for additional development in the immediate area," he predicted.
If Bayview Market is not completed by 2015, Mr. Villacorta said, the tax rebate the developer is eligible for drops, and if not completed by 2017, the agreement would be canceled.