$3.5M TIF deal placed on hold; Councilor wants financing review.


Byline: Nick Kotsopoulos

WORCESTER - A city councilor has put the brakes on a recommendation to give the owner of a vacant five-story commercial building on the north end of Main Street a 10-year tax-increment financing deal to help finance $3.5 million in renovations.

District 3 Councilor Paul P. Clancy Jr. Tuesday night exercised his right under the City Council's rules to hold the item until the council's next meeting, saying he wants additional information regarding the total amount of public money involved with this project.

By exercising his "personal privilege" on the item, Mr. Clancy cut off council discussion and delayed a vote on it until Aug. 10.

Mr. Clancy asked for a breakdown on the total amount of property taxes the owner will not have to pay the city during the term of the so-called TIF agreement, as well as the amount of money it will get from the state through historic tax credits.

He also asked for information on the amount of money the owner will receive

from the state during that 10-year period once the building becomes the new home of the Worcester County district attorney's office.

The building's owner, 184 Main Street Associates LLC, secured the district attorney's office through a competitive bid process with the state and had to agree to charge market-rate rent. But because the actual construction costs are going to exceed the initial rehabilitation estimates, city officials said, tax relief is essential to preserve sufficient cash flows to service the debt and the private investment required to complete the project.

"I want a breakdown of all the public taxpayer money that is involved with project," Mr. Clancy said. "I want all of that and anything else related to Worcester and Massachusetts taxpayers. I also want to know how many

Worcester and Massachusetts residents are expected to work on this project, since a significant amount of tax dollars are going toward redeveloping this building."

District 1 Councilor Joffrey A. Smith also asked for information...

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