HOLLAND — Tax incentives were the primary agenda items for the final Holland City Council meeting of the year, as several businesses sought aid for their expansion and building projects in the city.
Council approved the creation of a neighborhood enterprise zone around the former Goog’s Pub, 667 Hastings Ave. Wednesday, setting the stage for the developer of a mixed-use building at the Goog’s Pub site to request an NEZ tax incentive.
The NEZ was created for and around the mixed-use project at 667 Hastings, but it extends to a total of 14 parcels along Hastings Avenue from Ida Red Parkway to 32nd Street. NEZs require at least 10 parcels.
With the creation of an NEZ, the developer can now request an NEZ tax incentive that would freeze the property’s taxable value for eight years. While taxes on the current value would continue to be paid, any new value from the property improvements won’t be taxed until the abatement phases out.
The developer will have to return to council to ask for the tax incentive certificate, expected to help lower the cost of the apartments that are being developed in the building so they can be offered to tenants at a lower price point.
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Council has created NEZs in the past to aid the development of Baker Lofts on 24th Street and Scrap Yard Lofts on River Avenue.
Sur-loc Aluminum Edging Corp. asked for a Public Act 198 industrial facilities tax abatement to expand its warehousing capacity at 310 E. 64th St., Holland. The company, founded by Roger Blauwkamp in 1992, makes professional-grade landscape edging products, sold internationally, and professional landscaping tools.
Sur-loc will invest more than $1 million in the 20,000-square-foot expansion, according to city memos about the project. The tax abatement, approved by council Wednesday, gives Sur-loc a 50 percent tax cut for the taxes paid on the additional property value created by the expansion, until the abatement expires in 12 years.
Council also approved a first-of-its-kind for Holland speculative tax abatement for an industrial building that is being developed at 72 W. 64th St. with space for several tenants.
The speculative tax abatement sets the stage for the industrial tenants who move in to easily apply for P.A. 198 tax abatements to offset initial costs of setting up shop in Holland. Each tenant will have to approach the council for approval.
Three tenants have already expressed interest in the space, including a startup and two other West Michigan businesses, said Greg King, Lakeshore Advantage business solutions manager. Lakeshore Advantage assisted Paul Hoekstra, the developer, and the city of Holland with the abatement process.
“I think you’re going to see, if you guys approve it, that we’re going to be moving on these very quickly,” King said. “I think they’re looking to move in springtime.”
During public comment, Pastor Willie Watt of Lifeline Ministries approached the city to ask for help finding a city-sanctioned location for 30 small shelters, called Conestoga Huts, he has built with the support of donations and volunteers.
Watt wants to use the huts to house the homeless in a “village”-like setting, inspired by a similar project in Eugene, Oregon.