Outlet Village Deal

By: Meryl Conant
By: Meryl Conant

It could very possibly be the biggest development ever for the River City. Monday night Waynesboro's City Council set the stage for the Outlet Village to be turned into a new shopping center.

The council voted unanimously to return 80% of the taxes for the next five to ten years to the developer. That could total about $6.5 million. But -- each year the city is expected to still rake in about $240,000 more than what it currently makes.

"Somebody visiting the Outlet Village today would see that it is largely vacant, it's antiquated," explained Ry Winston of the development company, Collett and Associates. "We plan to fully redevelop the property."

He wouldn't name names -- but Winston said that redevelopment will include national chains, junior anchor stores and space for ma and pa stores and restaurants.

"We've never seen a project of this scope before and the good news and what you need to remember is not one penny of this is coming out of existing tax revenues," Mayor Thomas Reynolds explained. "It is all out of new revenue."

What that means is the city will rebate the developer 80% of only what the shopping center actually brings in in taxes.

"We tried to structure this in a way that there would be no downside for the taxpayers in Waynesboro," Winston explained.

"it's going to keep the burden of providing services to the community of the backs of the residential taxpayer," Reynolds added.

The developer hopes to break ground in July. But although Monday night cleared one major hurdle -- Winston cautioned there are some potential obstacles-- such as dealing with traffic and rock on the site.

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