Wed September 25, 2013
Austin Landing Development Stalled by Politics
The Austin Landing development in Miami Township has been stalled by a political disagreement. On Tuesday the township’s Board of Trustees gridlocked over a new proposal for the second stage of the project, which is funded with help from the township and a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district.
The first phase of the $100 million project just off I-75 includes a Kroger, a hotel and office space. But recently the development fell behind schedule, and the developer, RG Properties, decided to scale back. RG scrapped the idea of a movie theater and ice rink on the site, and on Tuesday submitted a new proposal to the township trustees.
That proposal reduced the township’s contribution to the next stage of the project from $15.3 million to $10.8 million, and included less retail space at Austin Landing, but maintained 200,000 square feet of new office space. Just one trustee voted for, and one voted against the updated plan; a third trustee was out of town.
The gridlock could stall progress at Austin Landing.
“I’m in shock,” said Trustee Mike Nolan, who voted in favor of the new plan. “When you have an opportunity to really help the taxpayers here in the township, and the communities around us, why would you not do that? It’s unfathomable to me.”
He’s concerned RG will back out of the deal entirely. Trustee Deborah Preston, who voted down the plan, did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.
UPDATE from September 27, 2013:
Earlier this week WYSO reported that the Austin Landing development in Miami Township was stalled due to politics. Austin Landing is a major project off I-75 that was originally planned to include a skating rink and movie theater. Developer RG Properties has already sold space to Kroger and a Hilton Garden Inn.
Now RG has scaled back the plan, and asked for a smaller contribution from Miami Township. On Thursday, township trustees voted 2 to 1 to approve the new proposal, ending several days of political gridlock.
RG Properties will still put in an additional 200,000 square feet of office space at Austin Landing, but no movie theater. And the township will pay almost $5 million less than the original planned contribution.