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Magnolia Marketplace OK'd in council 

Shopping center will have 1 percent tax

  The New Orleans City Council passed a measure Oct. 10 that creates a special tax district for the anticipated Magnolia Marketplace development along South Claiborne Avenue. The ordinance imposes an additional 1 percent tax on purchases at the shopping center, set to open in spring 2015.

  At the City Council's Economic Development Committee meeting Oct. 8, developers from Stirling Properties and JCH Development introduced the "penny tax," as Mayor Mitch Landrieu's adviser for economic development Aimee Quirk called it, to fund ongoing construction costs at the location. The property will be a "large-box retail center," according to developers, and all proposed storefronts have been pre-leased. Retailers on the 97,820-square-foot site include Michaels, PetSmart, Ulta, Carnival, T.J. Maxx, Ross and Raising Cane's. Constrution is set to begin next summer on the $24 million development, which is funded by a combination of cash equity from developers ($5.5 million), bank loans and tax credits ($14.9 million), Community Development Block Grants ($1.5 million) and an anticipated $2.3 million from the district's new tax.

  Stirling Properties vice president Townsend Underhill said the companies are committed to hiring from the immediate local area.

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