New west-side industrial park TID gains final approval
Tax district to promote property development pegged at up to $45 million

By Joe VanDeLaarschot

Sept. 13, 2019

HARTFORD — A proposed new tax incremental financing district has received final and unanimous approval from the Common Council.

The new TID No.12 will include about 68 acres located between the city’s two industrial parks to the west of the city — the Western and Dodge industrial parks. The council’s action came on Tuesday night at City Hall.

The creation of the district will facilitate completing multiple public service projects. 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.

The Joint Board of Review will meet on Tuesday at City Hall starting at 6:30 p.m. to provide a final recommendation on the proposal.

“TID No. 12 is to be an industrial district which could have a life of up to 20 years,” said City Planner Justin Drew. “Given where we are with the developer, we are not planning to have this certified until 2020 so that will give us some extra time. We plan on having everything finished before the end of the year, but we don’t plan on sending everything into the state until after the deadline for this year; otherwise we would lose a year of increment given that nothing is likely to happen until 2020.”

Drew said officials feel the property is ideally suited for industrial development because it would connect the city’s two existing industrial parks and would create another access corridor, this one running east to west, which would provide access from State Street.

“The cost for all of the necessary improvements including sanitary sewer, utility access and street work will be about about $6.5 million,” Drew said. “When all of the buildouts and developments are completed it’s expected to have a value of about $45 million. But for the existence of TID No. 12 this development could not have taken place.”

Drew said city officials are proposing to pay for the costs of completing the infrastructure work by borrowing, but will have the sewer and electric utility hold their costs and be paid back with the increment generated from the new development rather than including them in the borrowing.

“There are up to 14 potential parcels that could be developed and some of them are outside the current TID boundaries with three of the properties in the district owned by the city on behalf of the Hartford Area Development Corp.,” Drew said. “There are also two other triangular shaped properties that are east and west that are not included, but they could be included in this TID if the owners say they are interested.”

Drew said some discussions have been held about those properties and some interest has been expressed. He said officials are planning to develop the land in two phases.

“We would be doing the borrowing next year for the first phase which would allow us to develop about the first half of the properties to be developed and served and then assuming development pushes it would do the second phase of development in about five years,” Drew said.

City officials have been in discussions with one developer about the possible construction of a major warehouse facility and then about two years later constructing another similarly-sized building.

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