Cornerstone, the developer behind a multi-million dollar mixed use project in Centerville that will be home to retailers, including Costco Wholesale, asked Greene County commissioners to help close a $4.9 million funding gap needed to get the project “off the ground.”
George Oberer Jr., chief executive of Oberer Companies and Cornerstone Developers, and Robert McCann, CFO for Oberer Companies, asked the commissioners to “contribute” a portion of its sales tax revenue from the project in the Wilmington Pike and Feedwire Road area. The developers also asked commissioners to cover the cost of extending a water system to the land.
The request came during the commissioners work session Thursday.
“The development will be a regional draw to the county and will generate sales tax revenue to the county which is disproportionate to the cost incurred as a result of the development,” Oberer said.
The developers asked commissioners to approve the request at a November meeting.
If commissioners agree, the county would annually give up to 55 percent of its sales tax revenue from the project for 10 years. This amount would be capped at $375,000 per year. The funds would be used to cover the cost of public infrastructure improvements which include widening Wilmington Pike and Feedwire Road; adding and upgrading traffic signals; and upgrades to the Interstate-675/Wilmington Pike interchange.
“It’s a cluster debacle when it comes to that area of town,” McCann said.
According to a Oberer Companies report distributed at the meeting, the development would annually generate an estimated maximum of $327 million in sales and up to $10.5 million each year in sales tax revenue is expected.
The site is also bordered by Feedwire and Brown roads on land in Greene County that has been annexed by Centerville. Before the annexation, Greene County was responsible for maintaining, plowing and widening both Feedwire Road and the eastern half of Wilmington. Those roadways are now Centerville’s responsibility, “so Greene County has seen its expenses reduced there,” said Greg Horn, the Centerville city manager.
Horn said widening those roads and upgrading the I-675 interchange will serve all businesses in the area and improve traffic flow in several communities that use those freeway ramps.
Centerville has proposed a separate tax increment financing agreement on property taxes to pay for its share of infrastructure to serve Cornerstone and the area around it. The agreement could span up to 30 years.
Sugarcreek Twp. has battled Centerville over the property and over the city’s right to use property tax increment financing to develop it.
But township administrator Barry Tiffany said he is not necessarily opposed to the proposal presented to county commissioners.
“It would be premature for me to take a stand one way or the other at this point,” Tiffany said. “There are still too many questions to answer. Sugarcreek is confident the county commissioners and county administrator will make the right decision.”