Dothan considers tax break for new shopping center

Posted by: Daniel Curtis - bio | email

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Developers of a new multi-million dollar shopping center could receive some tax relief from the city of Dothan.

The city commission is considering a tax incentive for Aronov development which is building the city's first Publix supermarket.

Cottonwood Corners is set to open in 2010.  The 69,600 square-foot shopping center will be anchored by the grocery store chain Publix.

To help the project get off the ground city commissioners are considering giving the developers a tax incentive under the Brownfield Development Tax Abatement Act of 2004.

"It's an opportunity for a business to come in to take some advantages of some tax incentives because of hidden costs that may arise in the future," says Paul Lee, district three commissioners.

Brownfield status is granted to builders who are redeveloping sites that contain hazardous substances and clean ups of those sites can be costly without tax help from cities.

In the case of Cottonwood Corners environmental studies found small traces of hazardous material on a small portion of the site.

"It's a gamble that they're taking, and it's an opportunity to get those people to come here and continue the project that's going on there," added Lee.

The proposed tax breaks include a onetime reduction in sales tax on building materials and a reduction in property tax over 20 years.

If those property reductions are approved it could end saving the developer almost $64,000 a year.

"A great project for this section of Dothan," says Matt Parker, President of the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce.

A $16 million dollar project set to employee over 200 hundred people when complete.

If Dothan approves the incentive it will also have to go to the Houston County Commission for approval as well.

Dothan should vote on the matter later this month.

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