Incline Village project on old Duluth Central property gets TIF support from councilors

Duluth Council votes on Incline Village TIF package

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The incline village project, at the site formerly home to the Duluth central high school off East Central Entrance, is expected to begin with the construction of two 60-unit condominium buildings and a 220-unit apartment building.

The Duluth city council took up a tax-increment financing package Monday night to provide tax subsidies to the developer.

Going into tonight’s council meeting the Duluth economic development authority had already unanimously approved a TIF plan for the large-scale housing and retail development.

The financial aid package had both supporters and opponents speaking at Monday night’s council meeting.

Micky Pearson is with APEX, an economic and business development organization that provides regional assets and tools to grow economic development in northeast MN and northwest WI.

Pearson came before the council in support of TIF financing for the Incline Village development.

“We at Apex believe strongly in building housing of all types in our city as soon as we can,” Pearson said. “We see Incline Village as an important factor in achieving not only this goal but also in the goal of creating numerous jobs and creating housing in areas that won’t displace existing housing and existing residents. Tonight I ask for approval in this TIF district.”

Others however, said until Incline developers show the project will provide low income housing and that the project cannot be done without TIF financing, that it should not be approved.

“There’s no possibility for any affordable housing in this entire project,” Duluth resident Mark Baker told councilors. “And the idea that affordable housing would be considered in the future needs to be explained if financing shouldn’t be approved before this is cleared up. I strongly urge this council to table this vote until you get this information that you need to make an informed decision,” Baker said.

Tax-increment financing is a public subsidy that uses new property tax revenues generated by a project to cover certain eligible development costs for a specific period of time.

After discussion on Monday night, the TIF financing package for the Incline Village passed seven to one, with one abstention. WDIO News will continue to follow this major project as it moves forward.