What’s inside that special $10 million life-support package for the Regent Square development City Council is considering?
The reimbursements proposed for Regent Square would be administered through the expansion of the Memorial Heights Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone. Under a TIRZ, property tax revenues generated within the boundaries are frozen at a specified level. As development occurs and property values rise, tax revenue above that level, known as the increment, is funneled back into the zone to pay for infrastructure and capital improvements to help attract further development.
Under the plan before council today, part of the increment will be given back to the specific developer rather than the redevelopment authority that operates the TIRZ.
To be eligible for the money, the development company must begin making public improvements to underground utilities and streetscapes by Oct. 1, begin work on the private aspects of the development by Oct. 1, 2010, and provide 150 free parking spaces, [Public Works & Engineering director Andy] Icken said. GID Urban, which declined comment through a spokeswoman, also agreed to make investments in College Memorial Park Cemetery, a historically African-American cemetery near the adjacent Fourth Ward neighborhood, Icken said.
He added that Mayor Bill White has expressed interest in making similar arrangements with other large developments.
One of those similar arrangements was made a few years ago with Houston Pavilions.
Unnamed “city officials” tell the Chronicle‘s Bradley Olson that GID Urban Development Group was about to put the entire project “on hold indefinitely.”
Image of Regent Square: GID Urban Development Group