A Community Improvement District (CID) for the Hobby Lobby and Blockbuster properties along Johnson Drive was stopped by the Mission City Council this week in what could be a reversal of direction on sales tax help for developers.
The CID petition filed by Block Properties would have resulted in an additional one-cent sales tax to fund renovations to Mission West shopping center (Hobby Lobby, Taco Bell, Avelluto’s and attached businesses), the Blockbuster building on Johnson Drive and the Runza restaurant. The motion to hold a public hearing on the petition failed with Councilors Amy Miller, Lawrence Andre, Jennifer Cowdry and Pat Quinn voting against it. Debbie Kring was absent.
Andre has often questioned the CID projects and how tax money is used to support private property improvements. Wednesday he again said he was concerned the council is acting on the CID proposals without enough information. Later, Andre said he does support CID funding, but prefers it is used for public infrastructure or projects that change the “status quo” and that the market demand cannot cover. The council had previously agreed to a public hearing for a CID on the Keystone property along Johnson Drive, but that may be in jeopardy. Councilors Miller and Cowdry both said after the meeting that their thinking about the CID projects is evolving and they are likely to vote against Keystone (called the Cornerstone Commons) CID when it comes back to council. Only Andre opposed the public hearing for Cornerstone Commons in a vote last month.
Both the Cornerstone and Mission West CID plans were so-called “pay-as-you-go” CIDs. The businesses would charge an additional one-cent tax and the developer would be reimbursed for renovation expenses from those collections over a number of years. The much larger Gateway project, which is about to break ground at Johnson Drive and Roe Avenue, uses public bonds to support the development up front with the bonds being paid by sales and property tax collected from the businesses. The only other CID in Mission now is the Mission Crossing project near Metcalf at the city’s west edge.