Construction on a massive mixed-use development in Whiteland started a year ago, and now developers say they are ready to move to phase two.
The Whiteland Town Council last week unanimously approved a $7.3 million bond to finance the second part of the Gateway at Whiteland mixed-use development in the works at Graham and Whiteland roads.
Westfield-based Patch Development is building the 159-acre mixed-use development that will house light industrial development, apartments, restaurant and retail spaces, and medium-size commercial flex-space buildings.
The first phase, which includes a 1 million square-foot industrial building and commercial flex spaces closer to Graham Road is nearly complete. The next phase includes an apartment complex on the front end of the property closest to Whiteland Road.
The complex is expected to have about 300 market-rate units arranged around a pond and just north of a planned park. The park would be named Horsely Park, after the current landowner, according to town documents.
As part of a project agreement Whiteland entered with Patch Development, the town agreed to issue bonds to help finance public infrastructure improvements for the site. The town last year approved a $7.2 million bond for the first project phase.
For the next phase, the town is issuing a $7.3 million bond. Both bonds will be paid back entirely with money from the tax-increment finance, or TIF, district encompassing the land where the Patch site currently sits.
This bond, known as an Economic Development Revenue Bond, is a 25-year bond. These bond funds are loaned to Patch Development, so the debt is in the developer’s hands, not the town’s. The town is expected to make more than enough money from TIF to finance these bonds, financial consultants have said.
For this second phase bond, money from just the apartments section of the TIF will go back to pay it back, said Andrew Greenwood with Patch Development. That means the other remaining retail buildings expected to be built along Whiteland Road will be included in the TIF, but that money will go back to the town to use in the future.
“However long those buildings are there, they won’t be going toward the payback of the bonds, which is a pretty significant financial benefit to the town,” Greenwood said.
The proceeds of the bond can be used to finance the costs of utility improvements including electric, water, gas and sewer main improvements, roadway improvements, including improvements to Graham Road, stormwater improvements, and other related infrastructure improvements in connection with the project.
As part of phase two, Patch Development plans to make improvements to Whiteland and Graham Roads, improve stormwater and manage utility relocation.
“That’s all part of this. Again, the bonds all go to public infrastructure. So they all go to a road, or a pond or a utility relocation,” Greenwood said.