Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No way to spin an empty Ukrops building


A $9 million incentive over 15 years to create a unique retail shopping experience is now an insecure deal for IMD developer Bland Painter. A yearly dollar for dollar match of the tax revenue up to $600,000 is what the agreement with IMD contains. They have received $525,000 for 2008 and the current fiscal year’s tax incentive for IMD has yet to be determined.

The Director of Finance, Ann Shawver suggested considering “an entity that already exists in the Roanoke valley.” Ideally she agreed with City Manager, Darlene Burcham that the original intent was to “look for new activity not currently located within the city.”

Shawver very carefully conveyed that the “generous performance agreement” did impact the city’s budget and as a consequence it effects the funding of the schools.

Burcham stated clearly that the default of the agreement between the city and IMD would not impact the city’s budget in any way. IMD will have to search for a substitute for Ukrops. Burcham assured residents and council that economic development would help all they could but stressed that these are lean times. Companies are “just maintaining” what they already have and are not expanding into new markets said Burcham.

Painter, sole propriator of IMD is on the hook and will be responsible for finding someone else to lease the building. The agreement with the city will be in default. This could be financially devastating for Painter.

Council member Gwen Mason was concerned about Walgreens where she and Vice-Mayor Lea just completed a ribbon cutting Saturday at the Ukrops site. She wondered what impact the loss of Ukrops would have on Walgreens.

Burcham said it was “premature for that kind of judgement.” It’s too early to calculate if it would have any impact on Walgreens business.

Related article: Credit Crunch Still Hampers Commercial Construction

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Business, Roanoke City Politics

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