Wednesday, March 4, 2020

New Restaurant Hopes to Use Redevelopment Incentives to Build in Louisville

In last night’s board meeting, Louisville Aldermen approved a resolution that will advance the
Typical Jack's Restaurant
likelihood of a new restaurant coming to town. The franchise chain, Jack’s, based in Birmingham with approximately 180 restaurants across the Southeast has a pending contract to develop the property at the southwest corner of Church Avenue and Cagle Street. 

Under normal circumstances, a resolution by the Board would not be required. Typically, when a new business comes to town, it simply must meet zoning requirements, issue plans that meet local building codes and its operation must not violate any city ordinance.

In the case of this property, more was required to interest a developer and new business. Because this property is identified as a Brownfield site (which means it has been determined to have contamination or a significant possibility of contamination by hazardous material), it is not attractive to developers of new business. Costs to remedy the contamination are excessive and generally reach hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. As a result, there are more than 2000 Brownfield sites across Mississippi, most of which sit idle or are in states of disrepair.

The Jack’s franchise developer seeks to use a state program called the Mississippi Economic Redevelopment Act to recapture the cleanup costs for the site in Louisville. The plan requires approval by the city (resolution) and Mississippi Development Authority and approval of a cleanup plan by MDEQ (Ms. Dept of Environmental Quality).

Once completed, any sales tax, income tax and franchise tax generated by the new property will be set aside for a period of time to reimburse the developer for the cleanup costs of the property.

The resolution passed by the city of Louisville was one step in the process that will likely bring a new business to a blighted tract of land.