East Ridge OKs incentive package for Bass Pro Shops developer

East Ridge OKs incentive package for Bass Pro Shops developer

July 1st, 2014 by Alex Green and Alex Harris in Business Around the Region

An East Ridge panel approved economic incentives for Bass Pro Shop on Monday.

An East Ridge panel approved economic incentives for...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Site of future Bass Pro Shops in East Ridge.

Site of future Bass Pro Shops in East...

Illustration by Laura McNutt /Times Free Press.

At least $5 million of tax incentives will be provided to the developers of East Ridge's Bass Pro Shops project under a plan approved Monday by the East Ridge industrial development board.

Because the development is in a Border Region Retail Tourism Development District -- an area along state lines targeted for development by officials in Nashville -- the city is granted the authority to collect 75 percent of sales taxes for 30 years.

In order to qualify, the city had to woo a major development valued at $20 million or more that would draw at least 1 million visitors and generate $2 million annually in tax revenue.

At a meeting last week where city and industrial development board members discussed the incentives package, East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert said the Jordan Crossing development being headed up now by John Healy, Matt Wood and Ethan Wood -- the three behind the Jordan Crossing Development -- fits the bill as a $20 million development along Interstate 75 that is expected to draw millions of dollars in new sales to the city.

In the industrial development board's resolution adopted Monday, Woods' company -- Exit One LLC -- will be awarded "financial incentives up to $5 million" for the project.

The industrial development board will use the extra state tax revenue generated by the Jordan Crossing development to pay for the incentives. The industrial development board will reimburse Exit One for the company's expenses in acquiring land, improving land, financing the project and the project's construction.

Exit One is required to update its list of costs for review periodically.

Also in the resolution is a section granting reimbursements for other Exit One projects inside the 950-acre border retail development region.

According to the resolution, Exit One may submit costs from other border development region projects to the industrial development board for reimbursement, under the same qualifiers as Jordan Crossing cost reimbursements.

The deal which finally sets Jordan Crossing and Bass Pro Shops in motion has been in the works since 2010, when the idea for a major development at East Ridge's exit one was first presented by Matt Wood, who operated a company at the time called Wolftever Development.

In 2011, the state presented the border retail development program, and East Ridge jumped at the chance. The city bought portions of Camp Jordan from the state as required to then sell the land to a private developer.

In 2012, the city sold about 32 acres of what once was state-owned land to Exit One, which formerly operated under the name Wolftever Development.

Included in the sale is the city's fire hall off Camp Jordan Parkway, which will likely be relocated.

Contact staff writer Alex Green at agreen@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480.

Contact staff writer Alex Harris at aharris@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.

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