Conversion of Mall of Memphis site wraps up financing package with federal incentives

By Wayne Risher

TAG Truck Center’s project to transform the former Mall of Memphis site will receive a boost from federal tax credits designed to rejuvenate low-income urban areas.

Three firms are providing $23 million in financing under the New Markets Tax Credit program for a truck dealership and technician training facility with 205 employees.

The 164,000-square-foot facility on American Way west of Perkins is under construction and expected to be completed by year’s end.

New Markets Tax Credits were created in 2000 to give economically distressed urban and rural communities greater access to capital for growth of businesses, jobs and economies, according to the New Markets Tax Credits Coalition. From 2003 to 2015, $42 billion in credits generated $80 million in project financing.

The project also received a partial property tax freeze from the Economic Development Growth Engine of Memphis and Shelby County. The property has sat vacant since the mall closed in 2003.

The financing was completed when Stonehenge Capital announced this week it would partner with a SunTrust Banks subsidiary to provide a $10 million tax credit allocation to the project. The remaining financing is from community development units of Atlanta-based SunTrust, $5 million, and McCormack Baron Salazar of St. Louis, $8 million.

“Redeveloping this long-vacant property marks a major step forward for our community, and we are thrilled to play a role in providing new jobs and economic opportunities for hundreds of Tennesseans,” said TAG Chief Financial Officer Gary Dodson. “We are also grateful to the Economic Development Growth Engine board for providing the expertise and assistance needed to move this project forward.”

TAG Truck Center, co-founded by Dodson and Tommy Earl, is based on Brooks Road in Memphis and operates 10 full-service dealerships in five states. It will consolidate four Memphis-area operations into the 40-acre development on American Way and add about 60 employees.

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Source: The Commercial Appeal