Fulton redevelopment to begin in spring

Tuesday, November 25, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:18 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 6, 2008

The destruction of two Fulton buildings will pave the way for a redevelopment project that includes a movie theater, retail center and grocery store on the city’s south side.

Residents are anxious for the demolition of the empty Wal-Mart and Apple Market buildings on the site along Business 54, Fulton Mayor Robert Craghead said.

The Fulton City Council last week approved the project that will be undertaken by D.J. Christie Inc., a real estate development company out of Overland Park, Kan.

“For the city, the plan will provide a grocery store on the south side of town that we have been lacking for a number of years,” Craghead said. “The area has been lacking since Wal-Mart has left, and it is an area that is not very close to the rest of town.”

Craghead said the D.J. Christie development, called Fulton Pavilions, will go through a “peel-off effect” that involves several phases of demolition, construction of commercial buildings and construction of residential homes.

D.J. Christie has five developments under its belt and is working on five others in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Financing for the project will first come from D.J. Christie, and Fulton will reimburse the firm through an “increase of sales tax in the area,” Craghead said, a system that relies on tax increment financing.

“In the final analysis, this shouldn’t cost the city any money,” he said. “In this particular case, the developer would be carrying the debt and the city would be the developer. We’re just an avenue to get the plan going, even though we’ll have monetary involvement for a number of years.”

Since the project is in the early stages, it remains unclear how much the development will cost to build or how long construction will take, Craghead said.

In the next step, the council will begin negotiations to create a development agreement outlining both D.J. Christie’s responsibilities, as well as those of Fulton, City Administrator Bill Johnson said.

“It will take 30 to 60 days to create the plan,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll start construction in the spring.”

B&B Theater will own the theater that will be part of Fulton Pavilions. Craghead said that when constructions begins, he expects the theater to be the first building constructed.

“They are very anxious to get going,” Craghead said. “I’m anxious to get the overall plan of the thing laid out, but they will probably start first.”

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