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CRA gives ‘Village Square’ project financing nod

By Staff | Mar 17, 2010

A tax increment rebate agreement for the Village Square project was finalized Tuesday, bringing the project, and developer Robbie Lee, closer than ever to putting shovels in the ground.
Lee will receive 70 percent return rate in TIFF funds on the first phase of the project – the parking garage and shopping aspects – once all taxes and fees were paid, and the first phase is complete.
The project still has a few hurdles to clear before than can happen, but Lee said he he was happy things were finally getting close.
“It’s a huge step,” Lee said. “It’s taken so long, been so frustrating, and so expensive. We can finally put this behind us and move along.”
The project has to go before the planning and zoning board, then for a final approval before city council.
Lee said, following that, it would take 10 – 12 months before construction would begin. He hopes the project will act as beacon to other developers and business owners, making them want to invest in Cape Coral’s downtown.
“I want other developers to come downtown,” he said. “We have the chance to make downtown truly great.”
Village Square is planned as a mixed use facility with, proponents say, the potential drawing power Cape Harbour, and the newly opened Tarpon Point Marina, have given diners, shoppers, event go-ers and condo-hunters in recent years, only within the confines of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency.
The project is planned in phases that include a parking garage, condominium complex, shopping and dining, and will be built at the corner of Southeast 8th Ct., and Southeast 47th Terrace.
TIFF money comes from taxes collected within the CRA boundaries. The CRA can use the funds for various projects, including development incentives.
In the case of Village Square, the developer will receive a 70 percent tax rebate on taxes he has paid, once phase one is completed. In subsequent years, provided he completes phase two, he will receive a 95 percent rebate of taxes he has paid.
The agreement will continue until 2035, the lifespan of the CRA, provided the development is completed as promised.
The rebates will come only from taxes paid by the developer only, not from other TIFF funds.