Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, citing a number of concerns, said this morning that he's considering pulling a proposal from the County Commission's agenda that would help builders kick start a $165 million project on the former Baptist Hospital site.
He and his staff said they "had some questions," noting that the project, in part, will be covered with a $22 million tax-increment financing, or TIF, transaction over three decades.
"Do we really need a 30-year (TIF)?," questioned Burchett's chief of staff, Dean Rice. "These are questions we're asking."He also wanted to know just how much of the money would be applied to demolition and how much to "public use space."
The County Commission during this afternoon's work session is expected to address an amendment to the Knoxville South Waterfront Redevelopment and Urban Renewal Plan. Part of that includes whether to authorize the use of the TIF with the redevelopment project in South Knoxville.
The TIF, if approved, allows developers to put money typically required to pay taxes into the infrastructure for an agreed-upon time period.
Back in June, Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial Corporation from Augusta, Georgia announced their plans to redevelop the 24-acre site.
The land has stayed vacant since the hospital closed in 2008. The complex is slated to have luxury apartments, a student apartment complex, a hotel, restaurant and retail and office space.