IDB approves financing deal for first half of South Market District

New Orleans City Business – The Industrial Development Board today gave preliminary blessing to a payment in lieu of taxes financing package for the first half of South Market District, a development on Girod Street near the future Loyola Avenue streetcar expansion.

The Domain Cos., the site’s developer, will receive tax breaks over 10 years, with a gradually increasing burden starting in 2015. The draftagreement calls for Domain to pay 15 percent of that year’s projected tax bill for two of the parcels it will develop. Total payments will increase 5 percent annually over the next six years, and Domain would then pay 25, 50 and 75 percent of its bill for the final three years.

The city estimates the two parcels will generate $18 million in sales taxes over that time, amounting to a 5-to-1 return on investment for one parcel and slightly more than 3-to-1 on the other.

The two parcels, which comprise the eastern portion of the Girod-O’Keefe intersection, will house about 15 tenants, including national, regional and local retailers, said Domain principal Matt Schwartz. A “majority” of those have signed letters of intent, he said.

The City Council must give its approval for the financing arrangement to move forward.

By: Ben Myers