November 19, 2004
Mesa City Attorney Debbie Spinner said Thursday she believes the incentives being negotiated by the city with the developers of the Riverview at Dobson project are subject to voter referendum.
"It’s my opinion this development agreement is referable, based on the size of the project," she said at a City Council study session.
The project could be worth up to $80 million to developers DeRito Partners and Kimco. Riverview would cover 250 acres at Dobson Road and Loop 202, and is to be anchored by a Bass Pro Outdoor World store, a 16-screen movie theater and a threedealer auto mall.
City Manager Mike Hutchinson said the incentive has not been finalized, but as it stands the value will be capped at about $80 million, to be paid to the developers through sales tax generated on-site over the course of 20 years.
The incentives are expected to include $36 million in shared sales tax from Bass and other retail stores, and interest on that money expected to top out at about $25 million.
The plan would also include shared sales tax from the auto mall expected to come to about $12 million, and reimbursed infrastructure costs and waived fees worth $6.3 million.
City Councilman Mike Whalen said Mesa will benefit from what’s projected to be at least $100 million in sales tax after the incentives.
David Molina, chairman of three committees formed to effectively put the incentive package to a vote by putting the retail project’s three zoning cases on the ballot, said he isn’t convinced by Spinner’s opinion.
"An oral opinion is just words," he said. "They haven’t swayed me yet."