Crosstown Developers Seek 20-Year PILOT

By Bill Dries

(Daily News file/Lance Murphey)

Developers of the former Sears Crosstown building will seek a 20-year, $41.8 million tax break on the $180 million project from the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. on Thursday, Oct. 10.

The corporation’s board meets at 9 a.m. at the Downtown Memphis Commission offices, 114 N. Main St.

The 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes status sought by Crosstown LLC is five years longer than the 15-year-maximum PILOTs allowed under CCRFC’s current policy.

Crosstown LLC’s principals argue in their application that, because of the size of the 86-year-old Sears Crosstown building, 495 N. Watkins St., 20 years is necessary to ease concerns from lenders for the construction loan as well as the permanent financing loan. The principals also cite the economic impact on the larger surrounding area from the development, which will include a mix of retail, residential and commercial office space.

The CCRFC is recommending a 15-year PILOT, which would mean a $33.3 million tax break for the developers.

Construction is scheduled to begin in February and take two years.

Crosstown LLC is also seeking $15 million in city funding for infrastructure work, including some internal demolition within the set of buildings. Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration has not yet committed to a specific source or sources of funding, which would also need approval from the Memphis City Council. The city funding and PILOT are the last pieces of the financing puzzle for the project.