Both the city of Grand Rapids and Kent County are accepting applications from private firms and developers for tax-exempt financing through the Recovery Zone Facility bonds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The goal of the city and the county is to create jobs, encourage private investment and reutilize vacant and underutilized properties through this lower-cost financing opportunity.
The county and city have issued threshold criteria for applicants and evaluation factors that will determine which applications will be recommended for approval by the respective commissions.
Here are the threshold criteria that applicants must meet to be considered for the tax-exempt bonds:
- Meet the minimum requirements of published Internal Revenue Service guidelines.
- Have a firm commitment to purchase the bonds from a financial institution or bond underwriter to show that a project is creditworthy.
- Demonstrate that a project will be a catalyst for development or multiple-redevelopment opportunities.
- Create new income-tax and/or property-tax revenue within three years of starting the project.
Here are some key evaluation factors:
- Amount of income-tax and property-tax revenue and new jobs generated.
- Amount of investment made in buildings and equipment.
- Including additional investment for public infrastructure improvements.
- Being eligible for LEED certification.
- Property has been vacant or half of a building has been unoccupied for at least a year.
The Grand Rapids Economic Development Department is accepting applications for the city, while The Right Place Inc. is doing the same for the county. More information is online at the city’s Web site and The Right Place’s site.