By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Plans for a mixed-use development on Del City’s west side gained support of city leaders.
The city council last week laid the groundwork for using public dollars towards the nearly 140-acre development. That support would come in the form of a tax increment district and would be used for improvements such as flood remediation and infrastructure.
The project is expected to be largely residential with some commercial development along the SE 29th St. frontage. Tom Leatherbee, deputy city manager, said the project will likely include a diversity of housing options such as single family homes, senior housing, and duplexes.
“This development would be great for the city and the school district because it will help modernize our housing stock and create a great place for young families to live in Del City,” Leatherbee said.
Cherry Creek Living LLC and developer Larry Owsley are leading the project. Owsley helped redevelop the retail and restaurant area near Sooner Rd. and I-40 in Del City.
Leatherbee said the SE 29th St. property has never been developed due to flooding issues, lack of access towards the interior part of the land, and lack of utilities.
At the April 19 meeting, the city council approved a resolution to begin the process of creating a tax increment or TIF district under the Local Development Act. Additional sales and property taxes generated within the boundaries of the TIF would be used to reimburse costs for public improvements within the development.
“This will help make this land into a piece of property that can be developed,” Leatherbee said. “It will help with the infrastructure shortage and flood hazard but will not pay normal development costs.”
As part of the process, the city will also create a review committee which includes representatives from each of the taxing jurisdictions impacted by the development as well as a representative from the retail business community. The committee will include the City of Del City, Mid-Del Public Schools, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma City-County Health Department, the Metropolitan Library System and Rose State College.
The committee will consider the proposal and its financial impact on each entity.
At the same city council meeting, the Del City Economic Development Authority, which is comprised of the city council members, also approved a separate resolution that would allow costs to be included in the eventual project financing from this point forward. Leatherbee said it is necessary because the developer is already incurring costs for the project.
Leatherbee said he hopes the TIF process will be completed this summer which would allow the developer to break ground.