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TAD approved for old K-Mart site redevelopment

April 23, 2019---9:15 A.M.

HOMETOWN HEADLINES

Ledbetter Properties' new East Bend development at the former Kmart site on Hicks Drive is one step closer to a reality after Monday night’s public hearing before the Rome City Commission on issuing a fourth tax allocation district (TAD) for the project.

There was no opposition to the $24 million project that includes three anchors — the largest at 36,269 square feet with the others a third and a fourth that size — followed by three series of shops, a restaurant and five outparcels in all (about 110,000 square feet in total). Wright Ledbetter discussed his company’s plans to purchase the nearly 20 acre property and transform it into a shopping destination. Plans are to complete the purchase of the property in May and then begin demolition and construction later this summer. Outparcels could be completed by next April and the rest of the retail center by August 2020.

Ledbetter told the Commission that the development would include between 20-28 new businesses, most of which were “new to the Rome, Georgia and this market”. He estimated some 400 to 470 full-time and part-time jobs would be created by the development, as well as increased sales tax receipts and property taxes.

Commissioner Bill Irmscher expressed concern over ingress and egress into the development from Turner McCall Boulevard. Ledbetter says they will improve the ingress, or entrance, into the shopping center from Turner McCall. His coming is working with the DOT on improving the egress, or exit, from the property.

One surprising fact is that the corner of the property at Hicks Drive at Turner McCall with the old Kmart sign that has become such an eyesore, is not owned by the same property owner as the building. Ledbetter says they have made an offer to purchase that small strip of land and would like to “clean-up the sign as soon we can.”

Next steps: A legal advertisement has to be published for the resolution to create the fourth tax allocation district. The resolution would then be voted on by the Rome Commission at their May 13 meeting.