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Tax break for townhome development goes down the tubes

There were supposed to be luxury tri-level townhomes built by Walgreen's at 10th Avenue and Fillmore Street.

It never happened.

That's why the Alexandria City Council voted on November 22 to remove the tax break the development would have received through tax increment financing (TIF).

The TIF district for the development with Gendell Partners Alexandria LLC was decertified for failing to meet the contract deadline. The property will now be placed back on the tax rolls.

The TIF district was created in 2007 as a redevelopment district. Gendell Partners originally planned to build a 14,820-square-foot Walgreen's and 11 luxury townhomes.

Only the townhome portion of the district was decertified, not the TIF for Walgreen's, according to Jason Murray, executive director of the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission.

The market value of the property is now about $1.5 million instead of the estimated $3 million it would have been with the new townhomes.

The city's economic development authority, which is comprised of the same people who serve on the city council, recommended the decertification.