And while trying again to drum up support for their plan, they reiterated that their request for tax financing to help pay for the
"The only issue is, without [tax increment financing], the project can't move forward,"
While the meeting was geared in part toward
"Would I have liked to have a couple of them here? Sure," Muller said, adding that the meeting had been rescheduled multiple times.
"This was stage-managed and added nothing to the public discourse," he said.
Hugg and his clients maintain that tax financing for one shopping center would create an unlevel playing field for competitors.
Harrison, responding to critics who claim the project, already a year behind schedule, would bring nothing more than a run-of-the-mill strip mall, said renderings that have been provided to the township, showing a shopping center that looks similar to the
"It's going to have good architecture, very nice amenities and a very high level of landscaping and some nice stores," Harrison said.
Harrison said that while the developers have said the center would be modeled after the Promenade, "it's not the Promenade."
"This is a big-box shopping center," he said. "We can't accommodate that kind of [Promenade] layout. What we can do is accommodate a lot of landscaping and enhanced architectural amenities."
He added that retailers who want to move to the center have been patient, but that their patience is not limitless.
"They've got lots of opportunities all over America, they remind me every week when they ask, 'Do you have your TIF yet?' " Harrison said.
Harrison said the developers need the tax financing to help pay for the "extraordinary costs" associated with the project, including
Muller said he supports the proposal because of the jobs it will create. The developers say it would create 495 construction jobs that would pay about
"We still need jobs," Muller said.
The developers say the shopping center would generate
They also addressed what they called common misconceptions about the project, including the claim that the developers will build without the tax financing.
"If we didn't need this TIF money to make the project happen, the last thing we would do is spend the time trying to get it," Fogel said. "I don't know of any developer who would want to spend this amount of time and effort to secure a TIF if it wasn't [crucial] to the project."
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