Aurora approves TIF plans for Lyla Corners, Silver Maple Estate projects

Seth Kinker
Aurora Advertiser

The city of Aurora held their bi-monthly meeting on May 25 and approved two big projects in the community for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) plans.

Lyla Corners is one of the projects, with initial discussions with a developer beginning about a year ago, and is located at the intersection of Highway 39 and 60.

19 acres with five commercial lots, it’s to be a mixed-use retail development that is proposing a possible convenience store, lots for fast food, an agriculture and home store and a hotel.

Cory Collins, an attorney for Husch Blackwell representing the developers, Lyla Corners Development LLC., spoke to council about the benefits and the cost estimate before answering questions from council.

“We anticipate a total project cost of approximately $23.5 million when it’s built out,” said Collins. “A maximum reimbursable of approximately $2.7 million, so a little over 10% of the total.”

Councilwoman Theresa Pettit asked about if the developer planned to rent or sell the buildings built on the property and Collins answered they would do whatever is necessary to get the development going the quickest.

He also discussed a scenario where they could own the lot, sell it and possibly repurchase it.

“If there’s someone that says, ‘we can build a particular franchise restaurant and we want to own the lot,’ we’ll sell them the lot,” said Collins. “If they say, ‘we want you to build a suite,’ we’ll build a suite.”

The commencement date is set for no later than Dec. 31, 2021 with a completion date of no later than Dec. 31, 2023.

“It’s our intention if these all proceed,” said Collins. “as soon as the redevelopment agreements are signed, they’re both starting.”

The Silver Maples Estates is the other project, also brought forth by the same developer as the Lyla Corners about a year ago, and is located at the northwest corner of the intersection Business Highway 60 and Highway 60.

It’s a retail and residential development project on 47 acres that will have the lots be of mixed-use with the first phase focusing on the development of a residential neighborhood with 40 lots for housing and 13 commercial lots.

There are also future plans for residential development that run parallel to highway 60 on the north side of the highway.

“There’s been a lot of question about what that is planned to be,” said Collins, referencing the residential portion of phase one. “The intention will be to meet the market and what people tend to demand or feel like they are going to purchase. We think, based on experience in the area and others, that three bed, two bath type houses is what we may see there. That’s what we’ll start with and see what the market does for it.”

Collins would add that the numbers on housing are changing but believed that price wise they could be in “the higher mid-hundreds.”

On the commercial lots, Collins mentioned retail stores, restaurants, dry goods and small grocery stores as options while adding they didn’t yet know what would go there.

“We don’t know what will fill those,” said Collins. “We anticipate that will be a slower absorption rate than what we think the Lyla Corners will have. We think the residential lots will be developed pretty quickly.”

The estimated cost is to be just under $18.5 million, with $2.7 million maximum reimbursable.

Petit asked about the start date for the project and Collins answered that once the recent spate of rain subsided, they would be able to begin as soon as possible.

Councilman Doyle Ferguson also had a question, asking if the developer planned to construct houses on the residential lots or to put the lots for sale, and Collins responded that those lots will likely be sold.

The city had the first and second ordinance readings for the Lyla Corners and Silver Maple Estates that approved the TIF plans, established a redevelopment area, designated the redevelopments areas as a blighted area, designated a developer and approved a redevelopment agreement.

They also had the first and second ordinance readings for the aforementioned projects that approved a redevelopment project for both TIF plans and activated the collection of TIF revenues therein.

Those redevelopment project agreements would become effective in the next week or so once signatures were obtained from the developers. Those agreements set guidelines for the project itself and the conditions under which the developer receives TIF funds.  

TIFs subsidize companies by refunding or diverting a portion of their taxes to help finance development in an area, TIF plans usually helping pay for infrastructure improvements in the area with new developments.

“Between the two (projects), it’s close to $45 million in work, investment in our community, once they’re completely built out. These are really big things,” said City Manager Jon Holmes on May 21.