Government, Real Estate, and Sustainability

Brownfield authority to make reimbursements this week

September 9, 2012
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Members of the Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority agreed last week to reimburse Front Street Property LLC nearly $500,000 for the eligible activities it performed when the firm built the five-story office building at 634 Front St. NW four years ago.

“The work has been completed for quite some time,” said Jonathan Klooster, an authority staffer.

The development firm, part of The Christman Co., will receive $493,852 in tax-increment financing for the $11.5 million project. The building is noted for being the first new office complex to go up on the west side of the Grand River since Robert Grooters Development built Bridgewater Place in the early 1990s.

The Christman Co. and accounting firm Plante & Moran occupy space in the building, which is just south of the historic Sixth Street Bridge.

Kara Wood, the authority’s executive director, said Front Street Property LLC is entitled to a reimbursement of $746,717 for fiscal years 2009 through 2013. The project began in the fall of 2007 and was completed a year later.

Wood told board members there are 27 projects in the city that are currently generating tax-increment revenues and 22 have been approved for reimbursements, including Front Street Property. The total tax increments captured from those projects is nearly $2.4 million, and $2.2 million will be reimbursed to the respective developers and financing institutions.

The authority will make the reimbursements over two payments. The first will be made this week with the second March 15. The authority will keep $173,000 to cover its administrative costs. The sources of the payments are largely school and local property taxes, about $2.1 million, while another $104,000 is from the state. All a project’s taxes have to be paid before a reimbursement can be made.

Another five brownfield projects are generating tax-increment revenues but currently aren’t receiving reimbursements because the projects either aren’t finished or the appropriate documentation hasn’t been submitted. The five have generated a tax increment of $109,503. The authority will keep $10,950 for its costs and set aside $98,553 for future reimbursements.

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