BARBOURSVILLE – The first thing placed there was a sign. The next thing to go on that 50-acre plot of CSX Railroad-owned property at the intersection of U.S. 60 and Big Ben Bowen Highway on the outskirts of Barboursville proper could be one of the larger commercial real estate developments in Cabell County.

According to its conceptual site plan, Tanyard Crossing will be a commercial real estate development comprised of 144,000 square feet of retail space, hotels, restaurants, banks and a gas station.

“No project is ever a sure thing this early in the process,” said Brent Roswall, Barboursville native and partner at Tanyard Crossing developer Interstate Commercial Real Estate Services. “There is a lot of excitement surrounding this development, and it has already gotten interest from several national tenants. It’s a long process, but we are hopeful everything will get worked out.”

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, which is a stone’s throw from the proposed Tanyard Crossing location. Merritt Farm Plaza includes more than 20 stores such as Marshall’s, Target, Starbucks, Office Depot, Home Depot and specialty stores like Renee’s Birkenstock and Guiding Light Book Store.

“I can see the potential created for Barboursville by the Tanyard Crossing project,” said Chris Tatum, Barboursville mayor. “This is no strip mall; this is a top-notch development. We are looking to bring in large, reputable companies to Tanyard Crossing like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, a Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shop, and a lot of other retail stores, hotels, restaurants, a couple of banks and that doesn’t scratch the surface of what we can do with the additional room for development.”

Tatum, who said outparcels at Tanyard Crossing are similar to those developed at Huntington Mall, would like at least one of those pieces of land to contain a community building similar to the Marshall Rec Center.

“The city wants to be good neighbors with other businesses,” he said. “We are excited to be a part of this announcement.”

The property has been used in several capacities by CSX over the years, such as a repair shop and a bridge yard.

“It’s the best piece of property near the interstate in this area,” said Bob Childers, a local developer involved with the project. “I was asked to look at developing that piece of land about six years ago, but CSX was not receptive and the project didn’t go anywhere.”

At some point, Childers said, CSX had a change of heart. The property is currently under contract with Interstate Commercial Real Estate Services.

“Leases have been executed and contracts set,” Childers said. “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. The infrastructure alone will be around $5 million.”

Childers’ involvement with Tanyard Crossing began when he was hired by CSX to investigate the feasibility of establishing a Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, district for public infrastructure. According to the Internal Revenue Service, TIF is the ability to capture and use most of the increased local property tax revenues from new developments within a defined geographic area for a defined period of time without approval of the other taxing jurisdictions. It is a tool sometimes used by cities, counties and other economic development entities to spur private development, create jobs and establish a new tax base.

Tatum, who said establishing the TIF district is “crucial” to the development of Tanyard Crossing, said he and Roswall are going before the Cabell County Commission to request approval for the TIF district “as soon as possible.”

It will take six to nine months to establish the TIF district, Childers said, and another six months of construction before Tanyard Crossing begins taking shape.

“I have been working with CSX for the past year to bring this property to the market,” he said. “Brent is a very capable developer and will do a very good job. I am looking forward to seeing it come to fruition. It’s definitely something that is going to improve the area.”

Interstate has completed more than 20 developments ranging from 500 to more than 1 million square feet in Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, including the University Town Center in Morgantown, which includes stores such Barnes & Noble, Home Goods, TJ Maxx and Sam’s Club.

Jul. 19, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

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