A local investor has bought the long-vacant Richards Building Supply Co. building in downtown Woodstock and wants to turn the space into apartments.
The city of Woodstock approved a resolution Tuesday agreeing to support the project with tax increment financing funds, if and when that money becomes available.
The city has said redevelopment of the property at 200 E. Judd St. is a high priority and would be ideal for TIF assistance.
The Downtown TIF No. 2 District – which is where funding for the apartments would come from – has not yet been adopted. Earlier this month, Woodstock officials agreed to pay for a study about whether to establish a new TIF district for the downtown and Route 47 area.
“State law allows municipalities to indicate a preliminary intention to support a project which may benefit from a future TIF district,” Woodstock economic development director Garrett Anderson said. “This requires the City Council to consider and adopt an inducement resolution and precedes the full and official ‘deal’ with an investment partner.”
Tuesday’s resolution will allow the developer, Pancor Construction and Development LLC, to begin tracking its expenses for potential future reimbursement.
TIF districts allow municipalities to capture revenue from new growth and funnel it into a special fund for redevelopment in the TIF area.
The city’s current downtown TIF district is set to expire in 2020.
The programs sometimes are controversial because other taxing bodies, such as school districts, will miss out on the new growth revenue that is put into the TIF fund instead of being distributed among different entities.
But financial incentives make a difference when it comes to attracting developers, city officials said.
“We kind of missed an opportunity with the original TIF because of the economy,” City Council member and Deputy Mayor Mike Turner said. “There are still areas that could use additional development, and if we want to get serious about that, looking at a TIF that’s appropriate, funded the right way and doesn’t burden the schools is a reflection of that.”