Cleveland Schools To Take Nucleus Tax Deal Out On A Roadshow

Artist rendering of NuCLEus, scheduled for completion in 2021. [Stark Enterprises]

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District is considering a deal with the builders of a downtown office and apartment complex called Nucleus and about a hundred million dollars in potential tax revenue is at stake.

Nucleus is a proposed skyscraper on the northwestern edge of the Gateway District. According to its developers, the cost of building the complex is $300 million gap more than its expected value once completed.

That’s where CMSD comes in. The project’s builders want to replace an expected $121 million property tax bill over 30 years with a one-time payment of $18 million.

In a video explanation of the deal on the CMSD website, school CEO Eric Gordon says this would be an unusual arrangement - usually tax increment financing, or TIFs, are given by the city only, not the school district.

“If the TIF is not approved, the developer has stated that the building cannot be built, that the building is dependent upon both the city and the school district to help pay the mortgage of the building," says Gordon.

The 18 million collected upfront by the school district would go toward CMSD construction projects. The district will hold eight public hearings at the end of July and beginning of August. Then its board will vote on the proposal.

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