Mall Developer’s Vision for Property – No Public Dollars at risk

Crosland SouthEast Master Plan of the Oak Ridge Mall.
Crosland SouthEast Master Plan of the Oak Ridge Mall.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.— A North Carolina development firm known for turning around difficult real estate projects is preparing to lay out its vision for the old Oak Ridge mall property and doing so in a way that will put no public dollars are at risk.

Charlotte-based Crosland Southeast is the firm that has been working with the City of Oak Ridge for the past several months to develop a plan to convert the once thriving mall site into a multi-use work-live-play-shop destination.

“An experienced developer like Crosland has demonstrated an ability to take on challenging sites and turn them into long-term assets,” said Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan. “We’ve worked hard to expand retail opportunities in our community and we are seeing very positive results from these efforts. Crosland brings credibility and experience to the table, and we look forward to working with them to create a more vibrant ‘center city’ for Oak Ridge.”

Company representatives will be meeting within the next several days with the Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board to consider a tax increment financing (TIF) plan to assist in the development of the site.

Following the model of the recent Aubrey’s/Panera site on S. Illinois Ave., this TIF will not put any public dollars at risk with generating funds for improvements to the site.

“With the success of the S. Illinois Ave project, we are very positive about this financing approach that puts no tax-payer money at risk and requires the developer to assume all the financial risk,” said Oak Ridge City consultant Ray Evans.

According to estimates made by the city’s consultant, the proposed new development would create almost 1,000 new jobs and increase annual city and county sales tax revenues by more than $2 million. The private investment in the project will be approximately $80 million.

“Our vision for this redevelopment effort is to construct a ‘new downtown’ for Oak Ridge that will restore a sense of community and has the potential to make a positive impact on the region as a whole,” said Tim Sittema, partner at Crosland Southeast.

Sittema said that through the introduction of new retailers and restaurants, offices, residences and public spaces, this project will differentiate itself from all others in the area, thus catering to a broader constituency.

“Every community needs public places to gather and we are working hard to make this vision a reality for Oak Ridge,” said Sittema.  “We are privileged to have the opportunity to work with this community on such a transformative project.  We pledge to do our part in creating an attractive, economically viable project that retailers and other businesses will want to be a part of.  With the support of the IDB, the city, the county and our other partners and stakeholders, we will work very hard to make this happen.”

For more information about Crosland Southeast, please visit www.CroslandSoutheast.com.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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