Franklin plans monumental developments

Here are some details on the plans that I alluded to at the South Suburban Chamber “State of the Cities” meeting in September.

We’re planning on two new Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) districts and a change to an existing district to provide for more than an estimated 1,200 acres of new and redevelopment in the city.

To the best of our knowledge and research, there has never been such an ambitious development program undertaken by any community in the state to date.

Project one concerns an existing TID at the south end of 27th Street with a goal to develop a high-quality business and mixed-use park that will attract corporate headquarters (overlooking Interstate 94 with immediate access via a new interchange at Elm Road) and potential mixed use office/retail/residential in multi-story buildings. MLG and Irgens have expressed interest in partnership. Ehlers and Associates will handle finances and feasibility with Ruekert & Mielke doing preliminary engineering and site planning with the Hitchcock Group. Quarles and Brady will handle legal.

Project two aims at sparking new development of retail, commercial and service businesses to enhance the community quality of life surrounding 76th Street and Rawson Avenue but encompasses area east to approximately 51st Street and south on Loomis Road for about three-fourths of a mile. Re-development of existing uses is anticipated. In addition to Ehlers and Quarles and Brady, Graef will provide engineering and economic development consulting.

Project three is a unique plan to provide almost 200 acres of new light industrial, residential and commercial/retail development on Loomis Road south of Ryan Road that will be modeled after the state suggested “traditional neighborhood” concept where residents live, work, play and shop in their own neighborhood. An additional component is partnership in developing an “all inclusive” park for people with special needs led by Kayla’s Krew.

And tied into the 76th and Rawson project is a separate contract with Buxton to provide retail/service site selection and recruitment data services in an effort to attract new retail/restaurant/services to the area.

Rough preliminary estimates are that these three initiatives could yield a minimum of $328 million in additional tax base for the city.

The business parks development will be modeled after the tremendously successful Franklin Business Park that has brought about $165 million in new assessed value. That park was developed and paid off in just 18 years and has just a few acres left to be developed.

I think you’ll find that this is a truly historic and dramatic development package.

Steve Olson is the mayor of Franklin.

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