The city's pending Landmark Lofts project is a misuse of the state's TIF program and could even harm our city.

To the Editor:

The city's pending Landmark Lofts project is a misuse of the state's TIF program and could even harm our city.

The city has used a statutory loophole to have property-tax revenues raised from this project paid to KRG, the developer, for 10 years.

They did this without obtaining consent from the school board, something usually required.

During that period, this project will result in additional city costs (police, fire, etc.) to support these residents, particularly schooling for their children.

Equal access to education is critical, but equal implies that we all pay our fair share.

On average, it costs our schools $10,000 per student, per year. Over 10 years, this could cost millions of dollars and lower educational quality or require a levy passage just to maintain current standards.

KRG representatives have stated that limiting it to one- to two-bedroom apartments alleviates this, that they're targeting young professionals, but when that group inevitably chooses to live in an area closer to work or one more appealing to their desired lifestyle (Grandview, Short North, German Village), who then will fill these apartments?

Development of this area should utilize an economic plan which brings revenue to the city, not drains its existing assets. It should be neutral at the least.

Plenty of apartment complexes are being developed across the city. Is one more in the heart of our downtown area beneficial? What will draw childless young professionals to live here if we haven't developed the surrounding area to appeal to them?

While it requires investment and long-term planning, the city (and any developer partnered with) should be using this area as an opportunity to make Hilliard a destination, a place where people want to come hang out, eat, and spend. Then they'll get those young professionals to want to live here, too.

Daniel Bloch
Hilliard