Council OKs zoning change for land in proposed new TID district

By Joe VanDeLaarschot

Aug. 30, 2019

HARTFORD — A proposed new tax incremental finance district within the city is another step closer to final approval after recent action by the Common Council and the Council’s Public Works Committee.

The council agreed to rezone property at 1500 and 1501 Innovation Way from A-1 Agricultural District and 1523 Innovation Way from M-4 Industrial Park District to M-3 General Industrial District, which are within the proposed new district. City Planner Justin Drew said all the properties need to have the same zoning because if some of the properties are later combined for a project they cannot have different zoning.

“We want to make sure the zoning is what we want it to be for the life of the district (TID-12),” Drew said. “The approximately 68 acres is owned by the city on behalf of the Hartford Area Development Corporation.”

The new district would be located between the city’s Dodge and Western Industrial parks and would be an industrial TID. The creation of the district would also facilitate the completion of multiple public service projects for the city. The area is at the west end of Western Drive, east of the terminus of Innovation Way and south of State Street on the city’s west side. In a tax incremental financing district, public works improvements can be made with the costs paid back over time. Additional tax revenues created in the district are used to pay the city back for the improvements. Only after those are paid in full will the city, school district, county and technical college districts begin to collect additional taxes from the area. City Administrator Steve Volkert said other steps must be completed before the TID is created:

■ The Common Council must review and take action on the TID creation, boundaries, and project plan.

■ A public notice must be published of the Joint Review Board meeting that will need to review the proposal.

■ The Joint Review Board would need to meet and adopt the new TID.

■ The Joint Review Board would need to submit its decision to the city clerk.

■ The city clerk and assessor must send an application to the Department of Revenue for base value determination.

“All these steps have to happen between now and Oct. 31,” Volkert said. “However, if the prospective project doesn’t sign on the bottom line we could simply wait on the last step until Jan. 1 of next year thus the TID doesn't actually take effect until the Jan. 1, 2020 value.”

First District Alderman Joe Kohler asked if there any developers already interested in some kind of development project in the new TID.

“We’ve had discussions for about four months with a developer about a possible project,” Drew said. “We’re close to nailing down a proposal, but we’re still working on the time frame.”

Drew said he would have more information in a couple of weeks on the possible project being discussed. If the district becomes a reality officials said earlier that they anticipate Interstate Partners, LLC, will begin construction of a 100,000square-foot warehouse and office building in late 2019 or early 2020 and could also begin construction of a similar building in 2022.

Second District Alderman Dennis Hegy asked if some of the adjacent property owners had expressed any interest in becoming part of the new TID.

“There are three adjacent properties, but right now they are not included in the proposed district,” Drew said. “We have had discussions with the owner of a property to the east who has expressed some interest.”

Drew said it is being proposed that TID-12 have a life of 20 years.

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