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Council approves redevelopment agreement along Rt. 36

By Kayleigh Rahn & William Rahn
It’s an empty field today; however, in the coming months City Council members and administrators are hopeful that the Roxanne Moore property on the southeast corner of town will be a business center filled with activity.

During the Tuesday, Nov. 13 city council meeting, the City Council approved a redevelopment agreement with a Kentucky-based company who hopes fill the space with new business, including a Love’s Travel Stop.

This project concept includes the addition of a new roadway to the north from the southbound 1-57 entrance/exit ramp, essentially creating a four-way intersection at the current three-way traffic light, City Administrator Drew Hoel said during the Tuesday, Nov. 13 meeting. The city has worked for several months with IDOT and various other entities to accomplish the road engineering plan in an effort to move forward with possible development north of Rt. 36.

3-D Development of Lagrange, Ky., who was represented by Chris Davis during Tuesday’s meeting, has an option to purchase the entire 50-acre property and have secured commitment from Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores, Inc. to construct a project on approximately 12 of those acres at an approximate cost of $10 million, Hoel said.

“If you’re familiar with Love’s they are a large travel center, they cater both to car and semi travel,” Hoel said. “It would also open a large chunk of the entrance road into the entire property would be built under this agreement to serve the entire area with the potential for more developments to occur down the road.”

The proposed redevelopment agreement includes commitments from the parties, in addition to funding the intersection and the first 450 feet of the roadway out of the City’s TIF fund, at a cost not to exceed $1.8 million, Hoel noted. Part of the city’s responsibility would include improvements on Rt. 36 including widening the road and the installation of new traffic lights signals. The proposed roadway would intersect with Apgar Avenue for potential future development, Hoel noted. The agreement would allow Love’s to construct the entire road to allow the project to remain under one name, one permit, and one engineer; however, the city would be responsible for the first 450 feet and Love’s is responsible for the remaining roadway.

The project is slated for Spring 2019 construction, Hoel’s notes say.

“This has been something we’ve been working toward for a while, and this is a major hurdle that we are covering tonight. I think it will be a good addition to Tuscola,” Mayor Dan Kleiss.

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Nov.21 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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