Westside business owners were thrilled that Belleville aldermen on Monday night approved a $2.49 million tax incentive plan for the redevelopment of the Market Place Shopping Center built in the 1970s.
The developer, Adam Hill, likewise was happy the plan picked up unanimous support from the City Council. Hill expects to announce a new anchor tenant for the shopping center by July 29.
The center, which once featured the Mad Pricer grocery store, is “deteriorated,” according to Hill.
Hopefully this is going to be this first step to jump start economic growth in west Belleville on West Main and for people to take an interest, a second look at the Arcades (shopping center.)
Ward 8 Alderman Roger Wigginton
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Here’s a breakdown of the incentives:
▪ An extra 1 percent sales tax will be collected on items purchased within the shopping center. This money will be used to help pay for renovations in the center at 6401 W. Main St. Shoppers now pay 8.1 percent in sales tax. The aldermen created a special business district that allows for this tax to be collected.
▪ A $275,000 TIF grant will be awarded to Hill for the renovation. Hill has said the cost to buy the site and renovate it is about $4 million.
The value of the two incentives will be capped at $2.49 million. Hill, who recently moved to Belleville, also is eligible to receive a state sales tax exemption on construction materials. He said the project could not proceed without the tax incentives.
Dennis Lavery, owner of the Hometown Ace Hardware store at 6938 W. Main St., said he was pleased the Market Place Shopping Center will get a makeover.
Lavery said he will expand his store early next year by 2,400 square feet by taking over the two vacant stores to east of the hardware store’s front door.
Ward 8 Alderman Roger Wigginton, who owns the Don Rodgers clothing store at 6727 W. Main St., voted for Hill’s plan.
“This is the true meaning of blighted,” Wigginton said of the aging Market Place Shopping Center, which he said officials once tried to get condemned.
“Hopefully this is going to be this first step to jump start economic growth in west Belleville on West Main and for people to take an interest, a second look at the Arcades” shopping center, Wigginton said. The Arcades is across the street from the Market Place Shopping Center.
“This is a win-win for all of west Belleville,” said Wigginton, who noted the council on Monday also approved the site plan for the Fresenius Dialysis Center, which will demolish a vacant bank building at 6525 W. Main St. and build a 6,867-square-foot dialysis center next to the Market Place Shopping Center.
Hill said the first thing shoppers can expect to see will be a new façade for the Market Place Shopping Center. The renovation work is expected to include roof repairs, a new air conditioning system and a new fire suppression system.
The center currently has a Family Dollar, Subway, Marco’s on Main and Shenanigan’s restaurant and sports bar. These businesses would be able to remain open during the renovation.
In other business
The City Council also took this action Monday night:
▪ Approved the preliminary plat for phase 1 of the Parkway West office building and home development planned off Frank Scott Parkway near Belleville West High School.
▪ Appointed Ashley Pollock and Keith Owen to serve on the Historic Preservation Commission and Scott Schmelzel to serve on the Belleville Township Transition Task Force.
The City Council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1 at Lindenwood University-Belleville at 2600 W. Main St. because City Hall is under renovation until early next year.