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Council mulls funding agreement for development site

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Springfield City Council is considering a preliminary funding agreement for a development plan of about 26 acres at West Sunshine Street and James River Freeway.

The preliminary funding agreement begins the process of a potential development on the site by West Sunshine Development LLC. The mostly vacant land is generally located at 5505 W. Sunshine St., at the northwest corner of the intersection, according to council’s Feb. 8 agenda.

Economic Development Director Sarah Kerner said at last night’s council meeting the purpose of the proposed agreement is for the developer to deposit funds to be used for the city’s legal fees while pursuing economic development incentives.

According to city documents, West Sunshine Development would deposit $15,000 to start, with the potential for replenishment if needed.

“You’re not obligating yourself to approve any incentive and the applicant isn’t making any specific application at this time, and they may choose ultimately not to pursue the project at all,” Kerner told council members.

West Sunshine Development is registered to longtime Springfield developer Mike Seitz of Triple S Properties Inc. According to the ordinance, the developer requested the city consider preparing a tax increment financing plan and review other incentive tools to assist the funding of public infrastructure required by the development.

Seitz could not be reached this morning for comment.

Bill documents stipulate that any prepared TIF plan or other incentive would go through city processes, including public hearings and consideration from council and the city’s TIF Commission.

If passed by council, the ordinance also would adjust the Planning and Development Department’s 2020-21 budget by $50,000. That would allow for the periodic replenishment of the funding agreement account balance, according to bill documents.

Council is scheduled to vote on the matter Feb. 22.

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