A site plan floating around cyberspace is purportedly a preliminary layout for that $95 million, 58-acre Ambassador Town Center development anchored by Costco Wholesale and Dick’s Sporting Goods near the Ambassador Caffery-Kaliste Saloom Road intersection.
The plan shows where Costco, Dick’s, Marshall’s, HomeGoods, Panera Bread, Field & Stream, Chuy's Mexican restaurant and other retailers would be located within the development. However, developer Stirling Properties' Townsend Underhill, asked to confirm the accuracy of the plan, would only say via email, “This is not the proposed public infrastructure plan that will be presented to the [Industrial Development Board] for consideration. The full plan is being fine-tuned based on some recent feedback in advance of the [IDB] hearing.”
That “proposed public infrastructure plan” to which Underhill refers is turning into a controversial one: a payment in lieu of taxes or PILOT financing plan that would divert $8.5 million in property taxes toward construction of infrastructure including a new road running parallel with Ambassador from Kaliste Saloom to Frem Boustany Road (and eventually, supporters say, to Verot School Road). Proponents of the financing plan argue that area needs a new road to alleviate traffic at the Ambassador/Kaliste corridor. Opponents, mainly Tea Party supporters, call the plan cronyism.
The grainy image of the “Costco plan” is being circulated by opponents of the financing plan for the development.
Read more about the PILOT proposal, the Industrial Development Board tasked with voting on it and engineering the financing, and controversy surrounding the plan here.