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Posted on: February 6, 2019

Stafford County Defers Vote on Tax Incentives for Aquia Town Center Developers

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Stafford’s Board of Supervisors put the developers of the Aquia Town Center on notice Tuesday when they considered a resolution to rescind tax incentives extended to Mosaic Realty Partners, the developers and owners of Aquia Town Center. The Board is extremely concerned that there has been no significant development of the site or additional tax revenue generated. The Board feels it is in the best interest of the citizens to find a solution that would see a successful project. Accordingly, the Board decided to defer the resolution and has given notice to Mosaic to work with County staff and report on a new solution within 60 days.

Board members were considering rescinding the 2015 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mosaic, which authorized the County to return to Mosaic up to $6.25 million in new tax revenue from the center as an incentive to advance the development of the property. The $6.25 million tax incentive was intended to stimulate a quick development of the shopping center, which has struggled economically for more than ten years. Initial plans called for a multi-million dollar investment area that would significantly enhance the gateway to Route 1. Those plans stalled when the developer was unable to secure an anchor store for the shopping center. Retail stores typically follow a strong anchor into a shopping center.

Little or no substantial development has taken place or been proposed since Stafford entered into an MOU with Mosaic and no additional tax revenue has been generated. It is the County’s position that the vision for the property, as delineated by the MOU, is no closer to being realized. Board members are looking for Mosaic to come up with a new vision and direction that will spur the success of the project.

Officials are monitoring the safety and appearance of the site, though Mosaic continues to hold an active building permit and site plan in place. The County plans to continue to keep the public and residents in the area updated on the status of the Aquia Town Center.

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