The City of Freeport is to provide more than $850000 to help in the renovation of the Jo-Ann Fabrics shopping center.
The member of Freeport City Council received a unanimous vote for the approval of a redevelopment contract between them and the owners of the center. Funds will be made available from the Freeport Meadows Tax Increment Financing District. The funds are obtained from increased property tax revenues, which are used to fund redevelopment projects. The municipal governments used this funding to assist blighted regions within the district.
This particular shopping center falls into the category stipulated.
The Freeport Community Development Director, Jim Brown, said the shopping center did not have many tenants and this injection of capital will allow it to attract more high-end tenants, providing more options for the community.
The investment will be used for interior renovation and improvements to the center’s façade. Landscaping and abatement of asbestos is also included. It will be the responsibility of the developer to provide proof of the expenses to allow the city to fund the budget for the project up to an amount of $852219.
The developer and owner of the building, JJ Alaily, said he also plans to possibly add a new commercial space structure, but this is dependent on how the first phase is managed.
The agreement for redevelopment specifies that the renovations have to comply with specific architectural and landscaping standards. It is not required of the owner to invest any of his personal funds, but he has already invested $4m since he purchased the property a year ago.
13 OCTOBER 2014, USA