City aims for local Target

By M. Robert Berg

The city of DeKalb will help the new Target department store become a reality with $2.48 million in grants and loans as incentive to build the store.

The city council approved a resolution Monday night for a development agreement between the city and Dial Realty, Inc. Dial is planning to build a Target store on Route 23, between Barber Greene Road and Oakland Drive.

The loans and grants to Dial would come in three parts, as stated by City Manager Bill Nicklas in a memo to the council.

In the first part, the city will advance $1.2 million to the developer within 30 days of the council’s approval of the initial Target store. But if the store is not built, the city will get its money back, according to Nicklas.

“(The agreement) guarantees the return of the $1.2 million advance to the city over time through property tax payments in the event that the store is never finished and occupied,” Nicklas stated in the memo.

Dial will receive another $680,000 within 90 days of the initial $1.2 million advance. Dial has agreed that the property next to the initial Target store be assessed a market value over its actual value, so the city will get back this $680,000 if this part of the property is not developed, according to Nicklas.

Both grants by the city are protected expenditures through a taxing agreement. Dial has agreed to be overtaxed by the city if it does not fulfill its promise to build a Target store and an unnamed grocery outlet next to Target, according to the development agreement passed by the council. If the Target and grocery store are constructed, these over-assessments become void.

An issue of concern to many residents at a public hearing two weeks ago was a wetlands area located on the property.

As of now, there are two natural wetlands areas on the property. With the council’s approval, and with pending approval of the Corps of Engineers, Dial can build a retention pond joining the two wetlands that will serve as a rainwater reservoir.

“The city advances a $600,000 line of credit to begin the wetland/retention pond construction,” Nicklas stated. “This line of credit would be used to reimburse actual, eligible expenditures, and would revert to a loan within 12 months of Corps approval.”

Also, the city will retain ownership of this pond and other “green areas” outside the commercial space on the site so the city can control its preservation, Nicklas stated.