City leaders took steps toward giving millions of dollars of tax incentives to a planned apartment complex on the Cumberland Avenue strip.

The council passed on first reading Tuesday a payment-in-lieu-of-tax, or PILOT incentive, for a 250+ unit complex at the corner of 17th Street and White Avenue.

The multi-million dollar project will replace the old McDougal's Chicken and Niro's Gyros buildings.

The PILOT incentive would freeze the site's property taxes. It's something Director of Redevelopment Bob Whetsel says could pay off in the long run.

"This is probably a $29 million development. The value of the PILOT will be less than $3 million over the next seven years. So there's a lot of private money involved in this, we're just helping close the gap to get the project to the finish line," he said.

The complex would start building this fall, and finish in the summer of 2016.