By JACK WEATHERLY
The recently announced 17-acre project in the center of the city of Madison calls for a minimum of $100 million private component and a public component of unknown cost.
The mixed-use project, of course, will enhance the tax base for the city, but it also may be an opportunity for local builders to benefit in the meantime.
Chris Schoen, managing partner of Greenstone Properties of Atlanta, said in an interview on Monday that the company may turn to local hotel and residential builders to participate in the project.
“We’ve built hotel properties in the past, but I think it’s going to be our preference to probably get a local hotel partner . . . ,” Schoen said. “We may pick a local partner to do the residential pieces. And we may get somebody to help us with the retail.”
The city will retain the old Madison-Ridgeland High School building and gymnasium and convert them into city hall and a performing arts center, respectively.
The Mississippi Business Journal sent a public records request via email on Tuesday for the agreement.
This much of the finances is known: the developer has requested the creation of a tax increment finance, or TIF, district, whereby property taxes created by the project will be diverted for the creation of infrastructure.
The district would require approval by the board of aldermen and mayor.
Schoen said the project could get underway by the end of the year.
Time lines for both private and public aspects of the development are contained in the agreement.
The project is not the largest for Greenstone, Schoen said.
Greenstone has developments totaling 18 million square feet of office and mixed-use space in 13 cities around the nation.
Among the properties in its portfolio is Riverside Village in North Augusta, S.C., home of the Greenjackets baseball team, which Greenstone also owns.
Likewise, the developer owns the Boise, Idaho baseball team and the 29-story Pinnacle at Symphony Place building n Nashville, Schoen said.
Schoen worked for years for John C. Portman, who started the architectural revolution in Atlanta with the Hyatt Regency and its soaring atrium, Peach Tree Center and other projects in the city and other major cities across the nation and around the world.
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