AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The old Firestone Building in downtown Amarillo will be transformed into an apartment complex but developers are seeing some complications along the way.
Project developers originally intended to use the open canopy space as a retail area. However, in order to receive federal and state funding the canopy needs to remain open.
"Losing our retail space has unfortunately forced us to scale it back," Sally Jennings, the buildings co-owner, said. "That was one of the biggest reasons we approached the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) board to see if we can get some additional incentives to make it financially feasible."
The TIRZ board is in charge of the downtown development project. They provide tax incentives and funding for projects intended to draw people downtown and restore unused buildings.
The developers were asking for $200,000 and met with the TIRZ board to review their application.
The board only approved $50,000 and a 90 percent tax rebate until 2036.
"We have spent a substantial amount of our funds to get these catalyst project up and running," TIRZ Chairman Scott Bentley said. "Our funds are limited and we wanted to help out, so the board approved what we could, although it is not what they wanted, we hope it helps."
Despite receiving less than what they anticipated Jennings said they were thankful for the help provided by the board.
The $50,000 from the TIRZ board will go towards light fixtures and tress along the street.
Once finished the Firestone Building will hold 13 apartments.
Construction is set to start in January and to be finished by the end of 2017.