D'IBERVILLE -- Choice property that was to be the site of Ocean Expo Aquarium instead will be a new BMW dealership and Mandal Buick GMC. The dealerships are expected to generate more than $100 million in annual sales.
The City Council this week agreed to provide a tax-increment financing bond for up to $2 million to help pay for infrastructure for the $22 million development. The Galleria Automotive dealerships on 7.5 acres at the southwest quadrant of interstates 10 and 110 will have 80,000 square feet of retail space, office space and service areas.
The project is expected to create 40 jobs with a payroll of $2.4 million and tax revenue for the city, county and school district.
Across I-10, the first step in expanding The Promenade to the west also got council approval.
"That's a big project," Councilman Robbie Ellis said as he scanned plans for the development on wooded acres west of the shopping center, both north and south of Promenade Parkway. Monte Luffey, representing ETC Ventures, said demand will determine the mix of hotels, restaurants and retail in the new area.
One restaurant, Mugshots Grill, is under contract and construction could begin about April 1, said Cindy Feranda, D'Iberville director of planning and zoning.
These projects will create additional tax revenue for the city, although 50 percent of the tax generated by the Galleria Automotive project will be pledged for 20 years to repay the bonds. The expected $74,000 a year in school taxes will not be included in the repayment.
The TIF bond was prepared by Gouras & Associates of Madison and says the bond will never be a general obligation of the city but is secured by taxes generated by the dealerships. Developer Ramco Real Estate must first complete the work and then request the money from the TIF that can be used to pay for planning, design, construction and financing of on-site and off-site improvements including water, sprinklers, sewer, storm drains, electric, natural gas, telecommunication, site improvements, parking, construction of streets and landscaping.