HomeBusinessInvestor requests TIF district for Vann Drive improvements, development

Investor requests TIF district for Vann Drive improvements, development

Gary A. Taylor Investments has been involved for a little more than a year in developing a project called Columns III on Vann Drive near the intersection with Country Club Lane.

The Columns is the area on the western end of Vann Drive that Taylor has developed for about 20 years now that’s become a retail center for shoppers searching for national brands such as Home Depot, Kohl’s, Kirkland’s, Books-A-Million, Dick’s and a number of national chain restaurants like Five Guys, Perkins, Buffalo Wild Wings and Texas Roadhouse.

Columns III has been in development, and Taylor came before the Republican caucus of the Madison County Commission Monday night proposing a TIF district at the development while also asking for some infrastructural needs.

A TIF (tax incremental financing) district is a geographic area in which a certain amount of tax revenue would be allowed to go toward a certain project to attract private investment.

“From November through December, I think all of us are aware of the traffic flow issues we have at this intersection of Vann and Country Club Lane next to this off-ramp coming off Highway 412,” Taylor said while looking at a map of the area.

The intersection he was discussing is where Vann ends at Country Club Lane just off the interchange of the intersection of Country Club with 412. Vann is near Express Drive, which comes to Country Club from the other side of the road to form an unusual intersection where Express and Vann don’t quite line up for an even crossing.

Taylor proposed five infrastructural changes.

The first one is a slip lane with a concrete barrier that would allow anyone wanting to turn off 412 and wanting to go to Vann could do so without crossing onto any other road. Taylor noted that the overwhelming majority of traffic traveling west on 412 and comes off at that off-ramp will typically go to Vann Drive, so this would divert all of that traffic off Country Club before it ever enters that roadway.

The second improvement project would be to put a traffic light at that intersection of Vann, Express and Country Club while also shifting Vann slightly to allow a straight crossing for those going straight between Vann and Express.

The third and fourth projects would be traffic signals on Vann. One would be at the opening to the Columns III development, and the fourth would be at the intersection of Vann and Corinthian Drive, which would be at the eastern edge of Columns III.

The fifth improvement would be another traffic signal on Country Club on the other side of 412, regulating traffic coming on and off the eastbound lanes of 412.

Taylor’s TIF district proposal would simply include the Columns III area geographically. That area already has one hotel under construction on Vann, another lot sold to another hotel that’s in the development and design stage, a lot that’s under construction by West Tennessee Bone & Joint for their upcoming new facility and a lot that hasn’t been sold that Taylor hopes to attract “a nice sit-down restaurant.”

The proposal would put 48% of the county tax revenue not already set to go somewhere to go to the financing of the project while the County would get the other 52%.

“So we would get over half the money from the TIF?” asked Commissioner Gary Deaton, to which Taylor replied with a confirmation.

Taylor’s attorney that was present for the presentation, Tom Trent, said he’s been involved with a similar project in Dickson, and that TIF paid off its notes in about six-and-a-half years when it was scheduled for 12 years. The proposal gave a 15-year time for this district.

The commissioners who were present and spoke up all spoke in favor of the proposal because most TIF district proposals send 100% of the tax revenue to the project, leaving no money for the County until the TIF’s time is complete. There were also a few comments complimenting the improvement plans, particularly the lane connecting 412 and Vann.

Taylor confirmed he’s asking for this to be a partnership between the County and City of Jackson since the area in question is inside Jackson’s city limits.

Taylor was asked why he’s asking for the TIF and the improvements, and he explained that Columns III’s ability to bring tenants in is interdependent with the infrastructure improvements.

“We’ve got West Tennessee Bone & Joint and the hotels coming in here, and we’re talking to different restaurants about coming here,” Taylor said pointing at the map and a specific spot right on Vann on the edge of the development. “But most restaurants won’t come here without retail coming here [pointing to the main part of the development where retail is planned].

“But that retail is hard to get to come here without getting this fixed [pointing to the intersections on Country Club].”

The proposal isn’t at the point where the County Commission or City Council would take any action on it yet. Both County Mayor A.J. Massey and Jackson Mayor Scott Conger have sent the proposal to the industrial development board. Once it gets their approval, the proposal will be sent to the Commission and Council.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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