Simpsonville to consider sewer fee incentive for outlet mall

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Ordinance would aid Horizon’s mall plans

By Steve Doyle

The Simpsonville City Commission this morning will consider first reading of an ordinance that will offer an economic incentive to Horizon Group Property’s plan to build an outlet mall south of Interstate 64.

The commission is meeting at 8:30 a.m. for its only scheduled meeting this month after choosing not to reschedule its regular session that would have fallen on Jan. 1.

City Administrator David Eaton said this ordinance, called an “Enterprise Incentive Program,” would allow the city to offer incentives through its sewer commission that could enhance Horizon’s ability to build its 350,000-square-foot mall on the west side of Buck Creek Road.

The city will have to expand its sewer line from just west of the Pilot Station on Buck Creek and under I-64 to allow Horizon’s property to connect to its system. City officials have applied for a federal Community Development Block Grant to pay for that connection.

Eaton said the ordinance is geared to waive tap-on capacity fees up to a set amount, and he admitted that Horizon officials had requested the incentive.

“This would give us [the city] the ability, if we were to so choose, to use tap-on capacity to attract new business or industry if that business or industry would have to pay to expand the system,” Eaton said. “If it were required to build a new lift station, for instance, we could give incentive up to, say, sixty or seventy thousand dollars.”

Trio Properties/Paragon Outlets, which also has plans to build an outlet mall in Simpsonville, this  one slightly larger that Horizon’s and on the east side of Buck Creek Road, would not have the same issues with sewer system tap-on, Eaton said, because the system already had connection on that side of I-64 and Buck Creek.

Both mall developers have said they have lease agreements developed for their malls, plan to break ground this spring and to open in late summer or early fall of 2014. If both malls were to be built, officials have said they could bring at least 2,000 jobs to the county.

Also at the meeting, commissioners will:

  • Consider bids for the city’s downtown sidewalk project.
  • Consider a proclamation for Winter Weather Preparedness Week.