Roseville signs off on tax savings for Crowley’s property

Dick’s Sporting Goods announced for Crowley’s location

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published March 17, 2014

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ROSEVILLE — The Roseville City Council approved 6-0 a commercial rehabilitation exemption certificate for the former Crowley’s Value City at Macomb Mall March 11, which will lock-in the property taxes collected from the property at the current level for the next 10 years.

Additionally, Karl Zarbo, representing the Lormax Stern Development Company out of Bloomfield Hills, said that Dick’s Sporting Goods has signed the lease for the property and is aiming to have a store open there in early November. Construction has been delayed a bit due to winter weather, but Zarbo was confident they could still finish on time.

“Demolition is on schedule,” Zarbo said. “We are scheduled next week to start digging in the dirt, but it’s not going to happen. We may have a shot at April 1, but based on tonight’s weather forecast, that may be in jeopardy again. My schedule has not changed — we will deliver to Dick’s Sporting Goods on Oct. 1, and they are still scheduled to open in early November.”

Zarbo said the demolition was nearly finished and that the company has been able to reclaim concrete and metals for recycling from the old structure. They did find some materials containing asbestos that needed to be specially disposed of, but they otherwise have hit no snags.

City Manager Scott Adkins said this is the final step from last November, when the city passed a resolution creating a commercial rehabilitation district around the Crowley’s building, which allowed Lormax Stern to apply for tax incentives. The county approved the resolution shortly thereafter.

“It’s important to point out that this particular piece is a 10-year portion, so if nothing were to have been done, we would have garnered $8,000 in taxes,” Adkins said. “It’s an obsolete building full of issues, so, ideally, we would have not gained anything past that. What we may give up in that 10-year period, we will gain in year 11.”

Adkins said that since this rehabilitation district only impacts the Crowley’s location, everywhere around it that sees a boost in value from not being next to an empty storefront would, in turn, boost the city. He said there are already signs of taxable value increasing at the fringes of the property, and he attributed moves such as the National Coney Island announced across the street on Gratiot Avenue as a sign that this is spurring further development.

The tax incentives do not apply to any part of the mall other than the Crowley’s building, Adkins said, and any additional work done there would need to come before council if Lormax Stern wants incentives. The frozen taxable value does apply across the board, including for state and school taxes, as well as local operating taxes, he said.

Adkins estimated the construction would create upwards of 100 jobs, with 40 permanent positions created at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

“These are all people investing money back in the community,” he said. “Eating here, buying gas here.”

The state’s Tax Commission will now review the proposal to make sure it fulfills the state’s requirements for the taxable value freeze, which Adkins said should be a speedy review.

In November, Zarbo said that Lormax Stern anticipated doing some remodeling work inside Macomb Mall, as well, and shuffling stores around to make it more attractive to new businesses and foot traffic. He said March 11 that Lane Bryant would be relocating near the Dick’s Sporting Goods.

He also said in November that the developers wanted to update the Macomb Mall sign, but as Sears owns the sign, they would need to work jointly on that project.

Lormax Stern first started talking with the city about redeveloping the property a year ago, Adkins said, and the demolition and construction work is estimated at around $4 million in total.

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