Two outlet malls want to get in on Chesterfield Valley's shopping dollars, and one of them asked the city for a sales tax hike, recently.
Chesterfield Blue Valley LLC (developer/property owners) applied for a Community Improvement District to encompass the proposed mall that would add an additional 1 percent sales tax on consumers—bringing it to 9.3 percent per dollar.
A financial advisor for Blue Valley said projected sales at the mall would warrant creating the special tax district.
The notion is that the district, and its promise of future tax dollars would provide collateral of sorts for millions of dollars in bonds or loans for developers to build the mall in the first place.
The mall location is a collection of parcels totaling 190 acres just east of the Boone Bridge going over the Missouri River, on the south side of Highway 40/64—between a pumpkin farm and a concrete plant.
The proposed outlet mall, dubbedwould involve reconfiguring the intersection of Chesterfield Airport Road and Olive Street Road, where there is now a gas station.
Some city goverments are said to like the creation of the tax districts (CIDs), believing it brings in more business, and provides more revenue for the city.
However, the City of Crestwood for example has been in a years-long legal tangle over a tax district in which the developer went bankrupt. The bank left holding the unfinished strip mall property has made pledges to finish the project, but the city wants to see evidence of it before it hands over any of the tax money collected by the half-finished project. Some believe the bank/owner intends to fill the vacant stores there, and sell it. Others believe the bank deserves the tax money because of the defaulted loans.
The Chesterfield Spirit outlet mall has proposed a schedule of beginning work this summer, with an opening date of over a year later, in fall 2013. It was unclear whether a CID creation would impact the schedule. When developers hosted an announcement event last year, there was no overt mention of asking for tax help from future consumers.
Chesterfield Mayor Bruce Geiger has come out in favor of the project, according to city documents, but only for the outlet mall planned on 55 acres—not the rest of acreage, and only if the mall is actually built.
City officials said potential bonds for the project could be capped at $30 million.
The city has a process, much of it public, in agreeing to or denying a Community Improvement District, and subsequent sales tax hike.
At its last February meeting, the city council approved a resolution to move the tax district process forward.
A second outlet
At the same time, a different proposal from Chesterfield Outlets, T-O Ventures, LLC, asked for a re-zoning of about 48 acres from a flood plain to commercial district in Chesterfield Valley, just east of the Boone's Crossing exit from Highway 40/64, on the north side—
This project would be considered a smaller outlet than Spirit of St. Louis outlet, with an early-stage plan showing development within a long rectangle on the site. Another rendering indicates a possible pedestrian walkway down the center of the strip.
The Spirit of St. Louis outlet would be a racetrack-like design, with stores and restaurants on both sides of the shopper in the mall. Developers have billed themselves as a "premium" mall.