ROCK HILL, MO-The city has agreed to a $26.2-million TIF for a Target-anchored, mixed-use development at the northwest corner of Manchester and McKnight roads. The Board of Aldermen agreed to the TIF to help finance the $68.6 million project by a joint venture of St. Louis-based Hutkin Properties and Miller Weingarten Realty, which itself is a partnership between Denver-based Miller Development and Houston-based Weingarten Realty Investors.

The venture has proposed to build a 132,866-sf Target, about 138 units of residential and more than nine other retailers, including a bank. The project fits in with the city’s desire to redevelop the 27-acre property, which now includes retailers and homes, says city administrator George Liyeos.

About 10 years ago, a 40-acre Wal-Mart project for the corner was so opposed that some aldermen lost their seats for defending it, Liyeos says. The residents do prefer a Target for the property. “We’re a union town, and Wal-Mart doesn’t have the best union reputation,” the administrator tells

Most recently, developer Novus Cos. had proposed a mixed-use project on the property with a $18 million TIF. However, after more than a year, the company came back to the city asking for more money, and had no tenant to speak of, Liyeos says.The city put the property back out for bids, and the Miller-Hutkin venture made its proposal. Target has not signed a lease, but has agreed to a letter of intent. David Hutkin, a partner in the family-owned company, refused to comment on the project when called by

Liyeos admits it may be necessary for the city to declare eminent domain to seize some of the property for the development. However, the venture is negotiating with the dozens of business and homeowners on the property. “The venture said they would acquire the rest of the property after the development agreement has been worked out,” Liyeos says. “We’re hoping to get the agreement done by March 1.”

Some residents have complained about the project, saying any big box would add too much traffic to the area. Liyeos says the deal will help the city in the long run. “We want any project there to be the highest and best use for the area; not just for Rock Hill, but for the area as a whole,” he says.

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