June 06--The Stillwater City Council this week approved creating a tax-increment financing district to help spur redevelopment of the Joseph Wolf Brewery block downtown.
Plans by Stillwater Caves LLC to create a 40-room boutique hotel, restaurant and retail space on the site were approved by the council last fall. As part of the agreement, the city said it would provide $1.15 million in tax-increment financing over 15 to 25 years.
Representatives of Stillwater Caves said last fall that they hoped to begin building over the winter and open this year. But Bill Turnblad, community development director for the city, said this week that the company has not yet applied for a building permit.
"We are still hopeful Stillwater Caves LLC will complete the project, but even if they don't, we still have an instrument available to help another developer re-use that building," Turnblad said.
The Washington County board signed off on the TIF district on Tuesday. Taxing bodies have to approve creation of TIF districts because tax dollars that would normally go to them will be going instead to development.
Mary Divine can be reached at 651-228-5443. Follow her at twitter.com/MaryEDivine.
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