A Salt Lake developer and a Redevelopment Agency official are still negotiating over a tax break the developer says is necessary before he builds a 20-story, $40 million high-rise on the city's ailing Block 57.
Roger Boyer has told the Salt Lake City Council, which doubles as the RDA, he wants to build the high-rise, which he says could revitalize the nearly abandoned Block 57 in the center of the city's business district.But before he does so, he is asking the RDA, a special taxing district, for a $2.5 million tax increment break, or a 55 percent return on the property tax paid on the proposed building site at Second South and Main streets.
At an RDA meeting last week, RDA Executive Director Michael Chitwood offered Boyer a $500,000 "lump sum" tax increment, which sent the two to the bargaining table to try and reach an agreement.
In a meeting Friday, Boyer and Chitwood discussed financial issues and Boyer brought Chitwood "a proposal," which Chitwood said is now under staff review.
The two discussed parts of Boyer's development that could be construed as "public infrastructure," Chitwood said. Public infrastructure, like areas open to public recreation, make private developments eligible for a larger tax break from the RDA.
At an RDA meeting last week, council members were hesitant to depart from RDA policy prohibiting the agency from offering tax breaks to private developments without public infrastructure. But Councilman W. M. "Willie" Stoler suggested the RDA search for "creative" ways of defining public infrastructure to Boyer's benefit.
Boyer could not be reached for comment Friday night, but Chitwood called the bargaining session "positive and friendly."
Chitwood will take Boyer's proposal to the RDA board Aug. 11. Boyer has said that his option to buy the land on the northwest corner of Block 57 from Morris Pacific Associates runs out Aug. 1.
The development proposal is one of several plans to build on Block 57, which has become the focus of efforts to revitalize the city's downtown area.