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Walmart Filing for a Community Improvement District in Florissant

During City Council public hearing, Walmart gave a broad overview of its plans for the Florissant area.

THF Florissant representative Jeff Otto made sure to lay out every cut, change and crinkle of the on Monday night. In the same regard, the Florissant City Council made sure not to miss any steps or glaring details to the commercial franchise that continues to seek its approval.

Otto, the council and the public spent more than 90 minutes reviewing plans to rezone the land of 3350 and 3500 N. Highway 67 as well as 3605 Seville Dr. for a 24-hour Walmart Supercenter and an out lot business during a public hearing.

“Our desire is to build the best quality building,” Otto said during his presentation.

Otto pointed out a number of details about the site plan that he had previously presented to the city’s planning and zoning commission, such as the addition of a traffic signal at the proposed entrance of the Walmart along Lindbergh, two underground storm water detention areas as well as part of the building in brick and the rest in split-face block.

A new detail did come to light through the council.

THF Florissant has filed for a community improvement district (CID). This is the first CID filed in the city of Florissant and facing the council, City Clerk Karen Goodwin said.

According to the Missouri Business and Community Services Division of the department of economic development, a CID can be “either a political subdivision or a not-for-profit corporation. CIDs are organized for the purpose of financing a wide range of public-use facilities and establishing and managing policies and public services relative to the needs of the district.”

Otto said that with the CID, THF proposes a 1 percent sales tax similar to the one at Shoppes at Cross Keys. The Florissant City Council must approve CIDs in order to be imposed.

further explained that the sales tax from the CID would be used toward the development costs.

Councilors didn’t hide the fact that this is their first foray in dealing with CIDs.

“We’ll get the information, so we can be more educated about this going forward,” Ward 7 Councilwoman Karen McKay said.

Hessel said he recommended that the council take no further action on the Walmart development until greater discussion of the CID could be done.

Council president Keith English said that another public hearing will be done in the near future for the discussion of the CID.

WAYNE E GRENARD November 16, 2011 at 01:33 PM
Postpone Walmart, and please City Council, get the city budget approved first. Do I really want to pay a 9% sales tax in this CID?
Matt Sanders November 16, 2011 at 04:37 PM
we already do the at the shoppes at Cross Keys. and Walmart has been postponed until then. the regular florissant sale tax is 7.925 % we already pay one percent more at Cross keys shopping center. a CID Does not give incentives for new jobs. it is pretty much another way than the TIF. I am totally not against the CID. I was against the TIF when the rate would have been 10% sales tax.(2.075% increase) for that development. Walmart would have to put up a big down payment in order to get a CID.
Jim November 16, 2011 at 06:37 PM
Walmart can fund there own development. Keep in mind that there won't be a great increase in total Florissant sales tax revenue since Walmart will be taking most of their sales from other Florissant businesses. If they can't justify the development they should not build. Why would we setting them up with an unfair advantage over the rest of the business who paid their own development costs? Are we "picking winners and losers"?
Matt Sanders November 16, 2011 at 07:06 PM
Cross Keys got their own unfair advantage when they redeveloped their area, but it ended up being well worth it The developer that did cross keys got the tif money upfront and repaid the county and are still doing that. The CID goes through the state of Missouri. when home depot went into cross keys, did handyman hardware on lindbergh go out of Business??? No they did not. did the shop n save shut down in st peters when a new walmart supercenter went in??? No! I dont think it is a big deal at all. shop and save and Kmart will most likely not close at this time. Kmart corp has been trying to close that store for years. and all the shop n saves have already started to cut back on 24 hr stores with the exception the the flower valley which is still 24 hours. come on florissant do the right thing and allow Walmart to come in and bring in new business.
Jim November 16, 2011 at 07:26 PM
LOL. Cross Keys is not paying the county back--Florissant residents are paying it back with the increased sales tax they pay. Cross keys was a blighted area when the funding was approved. Different argument there. Really? Do you really think Home Depot and Lowes don't affect Handyman's business?? I'm not saying the other stores are going to close, just that they will have to share a finite amount of business with Walmart. That amount of business is going to yield the same tax to Florissant anyway. Actually I'll shop at Walmart too if I think it will save me money--But I'll certainly consider if it's a 9% sales tax.
Elizabeth O'Fallon November 16, 2011 at 11:17 PM
Our Florissant K-Mart is an eyesore. As a former employee of K-Mart I can say with certainty it has gotten much worse in the last few years. I am actually surprised they are still in business. I'd love to see a 24 hour Supercenter here in Florissant. I think that is something unique since the closest one I'm aware of is in St. Peters. I don't know how I feel about the CID though. I'm looking forward to the public hearing on it though so I can hear more details about the plan.
J Carney November 17, 2011 at 03:30 AM
Jim, Home Depot and Lowes both had an effect on Handy Man's business. I have seen Handy Man's business expanding. Maybe to keep up with the offerings of the big box stores or is it to accommodate the increase in customers? Every business that opens its doors affects other similar businesses. That's why they call each other COMPETITORS! When 54th Street Bar and Grill opened last year, did you complain that it would take business away from other area restaurants, chain or locally owned? What about when Target built their new store on Lindbergh and closed the Dunn Rd store, did you complain it would take business from Kmart? That is business and how business operates. Are you going to complain when you start seeing CVC Drug Stores across the street from every Walgreens? It's competition and the survival of the fittest. If Handy Man would have not remodeled, improved service and supplying their customers with what they wanted, it wouldn't take a Florissant located big box store to run them out of business. People would go to nearby cities like Bridgeton to get to Home Depot. It is not any government's decision to say what businesses can compete in the city or state. It's the decision and choice by the consumer to decide which stores they want to spend their money. Government should only make decisions on businesses in the area based on safety, security, legality and wholesomeness of the community. It looks like Walmart passed the sniff test on those issues.
Jim November 17, 2011 at 04:56 PM
Re J Carney Boy, did you miss my point! I'm all for competition and saving money because of it. My point is simply let Walmart decide whether to build or not based on their own cost analysis. I just don't think the taxpayers should pay to make it cheaper for them to compete. Whether it's CID or TIF, it is the shoppers that pay thru extra sales taxes for the development covered. I think It's unfair to help Walmart and not the other merchants that they will compete against. And since I don't want taxpayers to help develop other merchants either, let's let Walmart do it on their own. I hope they do!
J Carney November 18, 2011 at 03:08 PM
Jim, I agree with you that Walmart or any other business doesn't deserve tax breaks from a city, state or federal government. It's the corporation or the companies that should be taking the risks in operation of their businesses not the taxpayers. We see enough of that with the handouts for so-called green companies that are breaking our country. I don't like the tactics Walmart or sports organizations take to suck the communities dry for free money. I agree that as soon as a developer is given grants or tax breaks, they are no longer in competition with their rivals.
Jim January 09, 2012 at 01:04 PM
CID or TIF....It's not free money. It's a tax increase for Florissant residents.

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