TIF money requested for planned new auto dealership in Merriam

The lot south of the Infiniti dealership could become a new car dealership.
The lot south of the Infiniti dealership could become a new car dealership.

Another new auto dealership may be coming to Merriam.

The Merriam City Council Monday approved a funding agreement with Merriam Luxury Imports that will pay the city’s expenses to vet a request for Tax Increment Financing. Merriam Luxury Imports (MLI), managed by Richard Webb, owns a vacant drainage parcel just south of the Infiniti dealership that fronts I-35 on West Frontage Road.

MLI has asked for $6 million in TIF funds that would be paid by diverting part of the increased property tax assessment from developing the property into a new car dealership.

The low-lying parcel would need to be filled to make it available for development. The cost of the site work makes it necessary to ask for the TIF money, according to the request submitted to the city council.

City staff said they did not know what type of dealership is planned for the property.

The funding agreement does not commit the city to the TIF, but pays all of its cost to hire consultants to handle analysis of the request. Webb has advanced $50,000 to cover the city’s costs. The land is located in a previously designated TIF district called Merriam Pointe.