BARBOURSVILLE – A planned 200,000-square-foot retail development targeted for the spring of 2017 in Cabell County cleared another hurdle recently.
When The Herald-Dispatch first reported the proposed Tanyard Station development this past July, all entities involved acknowledged that establishing a tax increment financing, or TIF, district would be essential to the project’s progression. A TIF district allows municipalities to earmark property tax revenue from increases in assessed values within a designated area. Tax rates do not change within a TIF district.
Chris Tatum, mayor of Barboursville, said establishing a TIF district was “crucial,” and once it was created, the project should be “all systems go.”
“It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” Tatum said.
The application for the establishment of a TIF district for Tanyard Station, which will be located on the 50-acre site of the former CSX railroad yard off Interstate 64’s Exit 20 along the Mud River and Tanyard Branch Creek in Barboursville, was submitted to the Cabell County Commission Dec. 22, 2015.
At their regular meeting Jan. 14, the commissioners had a public hearing on the application for approval of the TIF district and adoption of the Tanyard Station project plan, to which there were no objections. Commissioners also adopted a resolution supporting the submission of the application to the state development office and “other items in connection therewith,” which Tatum described as a minor boundary adjustment.
During the commissioner’s regular meeting Feb. 11, a project plan order was approved and a resolution to bid for engineering services for Tanyard Station was adopted.
With the TIF district now in place, Tatum said the focus will now be on helping the developer, Interstate Real Estate Services, with infrastructure issues on the property.
“CSX has been great to work with, but there are some things that have to be done on that land before the project can proceed,” Tatum said. “It’s a lot of work to do in a short amount of time, but we feel it can be done and still be open by spring of 2017.”
Aside from some routine train track relocation, an arch or box culvert will have to be constructed so the property can handle more water.
“It’s basically storm water,” Tatum said. “It’s a big job, but it will create about 105,000 more square feet for the development.”
Bob Childers, a local real estate developer, was hired several years ago by CSX to investigate the feasibility of establishing a TIF district for public infrastructure on the proposed site of Tanyard Station.
“Just from what I know of the project, I’d say it’s safe to say, overall, this is a $35 million to $50 million development,” Childers said. “The infrastructure alone will be around $5 million.”
The conceptual site plan for Tanyard Station, originally known as Tanyard Crossing, shows large anchor stores, retail outlets, restaurants, a bank, a hotel and a gas station.
“Tenants have signed on, and there are some we are still working on,” Tatum said. “We will be able to release names of some of the tenants in the near future.”
Located between Merritt Creek Farm Plaza and the Huntington Mall, developing Tanyard Station will also entail more than $6 million in road improvements along U.S. 60 and W.Va. Route 193, aka Big Ben Bowen Highway, which has an estimated traffic count 58,870 cars per day, according to the project’s brochure.
“We want to make the two-lane highway in that area into a four-lane highway,” Tatum said. “There is no way the two-lane road there now could handle the amount of traffic that will be generated by this development. We have already discussed it with the state and would ultimately like the road to be a four-lane all the way to the mall.”
Brent Roswall, Barboursville native and owner of Interstate Real Estate Services, said he expects to close on the project in June.
“Interstate is proud to be a part of another major retail center in the great state of West Virginia and the village of Barboursville,” Roswall said. “Interstate is extremely appreciative for the efforts and cooperation of Mayor Tatum, his staff and the Cabell County Commissioners related to this project. Coming back to Barboursville to build another retail center has always been a dream of mine.”
Interstate Commercial Real Estate Services, based in Bristol, Tennessee, also developed Merritt Creek Farm Plaza at the intersection of I-64 and Big Ben Bowen Highway.