Tenth and Locust development project off the table

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 | 11:23 a.m. CST; updated 12:56 p.m. CST, Tuesday, November 24, 2009
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Trittenbach Development is no longer planning to build a $17 million development in downtown Columbia, claiming the economic climate won’t support it.

COLUMBIA — A $17 million downtown apartment and retail project that had been approved for special tax incentives has been dropped.

The developers said in a news release that a decline in demand for commercial real estate makes the project unfeasible, even with the use of tax increment financing, a tax incentive that allows increases in tax revenue to be funneled back into the project.

The Tiger Hotel renovation that received final approval from the City Council in early October remains in play. Construction is scheduled to start next year.

Developers Jonathan and Nathan Odle planned to demolish three houses and a city parking lot at the corner of Tenth and Locust streets and build an eight-story high-rise with office space, apartments and a street-level grocery store.

The Odles, operating as Trittenbach Development, are also responsible for Brookside Townhomes and a number of Columbia Medical Plaza projects on Keene Street.

The building would have taken up about a quarter of a city block, but it would be one of downtown's tallest — just one floor short of The Tiger.

To use the tax incentive, the project faced approval from the city Tax Increment Financing Commission and the City Council.

The proposal faced some opposition from Columbia Public Schools, which would collect more tax if the property value increased without tax increment financing, and members of the public who questioned the plan's viability.

The City Council unanimously approved tax increment financing for the project, but the developers never came forward with a redevelopment agreement for the council to approve.

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Charles Dudley Jr November 24, 2009 | 12:57 p.m.

>>> that a decline in demand for commercial real estate makes the project unfeasible, <<<

We have so much of this sitting around now just idle and empty that City Council should be looking some how to force developers to use those vacant places instead of building more.

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