Plans for developing along Hwy. 61 looked over

Developers have big plans for the land across from the Firehouse Subs shopping center in Clinton, and that may include some good news for residents of Hunters Trail subdivision.

Representatives for Blackhorse Capital Partners spoke at last week’s industrial development board meeting to drive home a request for tax increment financing.

The board’s review committee already spoke in favor of the request.

TIF financing is often used for redevelopment, especially when it comes to infrastructure, and in this case, it would be used to straighten out Sinking Springs Road. The full details of the request for the TIF were not immediately available, including what the percentage is they are requesting.

It offers a tax benefit on the front end to the developer to make a project viable, according to Bear Stephenson, who is a member of the Industrial Development Board.

“One of the challenges we have with this site is that this TIF is a make-or-break design component,” said attorney Josh Bishop, who represented Blackhorse Capital. “The road wouldn’t get shifted if we can’t do this. We’ve been in a holding pattern until we can nail down if the TIF is going to come about.”

Sinking Springs comes to 61 at an angle, according to Bishop, which isn’t the best use of road frontage. The plan is to straighten Sinking Springs to run parallel to Highway 61/Charles Seivers Boulevard, and have a straight T.

That would come out across from Doe Run Boulevard and possibly create a scenario where TDOT could install a red light, according to Bishop.

“That will allow us an additional lot and definitely some additional building area,” he explained. “That will drive more tax dollars and create more opportunities.”

Blackhorse Capital is responsible for developing the Firehouse Subs shopping center, and he said they were 100-percent leased before they even came out of the ground. Tenants had to be turned away, which is why they’re so eager to start building across the street.

Blackhorse Capital owns an additional eight acres behind the strip with road frontage, and Bishop hopes that will be leased by a big box store, although no names were mentioned.

“That would be the final piece of development,” Bishop said.

The demand is there, according to Bishop, it’s just a matter of when it can be delivered and what the access will look like.

“From a tax and utility perspective, Highway 61 is the most valuable land, and coming in at an angle just isn’t efficient,” Bishop said.

Eventually, the vision is multiple access points to Highway 61, but also access to the interstate from roads that run parallel to 61.

The request for the TIF would have to be approved by the county. No date has been scheduled for that yet.

The new proposed Marriott, which will be built in front of Walmart, has already been approved for a TIF. In that case, the Industrial Development Board will float the developer money for the improvements, up to $1 million. Then, over the course of 10 years, the money that would normally be paid on property taxes would go back to the IDB, until they’ve paid off their loan.

They would still pay property taxes on the land, but anything beyond that would go back to the IDB.