ALDI and TJ Maxx sign onto Highway 12 retail center project


Tess Vrbin


The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.


Starkville could get an ALDI grocery store and a TJ Maxx department store if Starkville's board of aldermen approve a tax-increment financing plan this evening for the project. 


Chris Gouras, an urban planning consultant representing developer Castle Properties, told Oktibbeha County supervisors Monday that both businesses have signed letters of intent to locate at a planned retail center at the intersection of Highway 12 and Industrial Park Road -- the current Garan Manufacturing plant site. Garan is planning to relocate to the industrial park property at Highways 82 and 389. 


The letters of intent are non-binding, but they allow companies and developers to formally consider development agreements. 


Under the TIF, Castle Properties owner Mark Castleberry must build the development and show at least a year of sales tax performance before the city would issue the bonds, a process that would take at least three years. Once the bonds are issued, half the sales tax and all the city and county ad valorem tax generated at the center would go toward the bonds until they are repaid. Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District would receive all of its ad valorem millage from the development immediately. 


The TIF bonds would only reimburse Castle Properties for costs associated with infrastructure such as roads, parking lots, sidewalks, storm water mitigation, water and sewer at the site. It would not refund the costs of the actual retail buildings. 


Castle Properties estimates the shopping will create about 120 construction jobs and 150 to 200 permanent jobs, Gouras said. 


Though supervisors voted support for the TIF in a joint meeting July 18 with Starkville aldermen and Oktibbeha County Economic Development Agency board members, supervisors slated a mandatory hearing for Sept. 3, after which it will consider final approval.




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