For nearly eight years, McKay Christensen has been hoping to obtain Provo’s approval for his Blue Sky mixed-use development on the corner of 100 East and Center Street.
On Tuesday, he received a unanimous vote from the redevelopment agency authorizing the use of tax increment financing on the project.
The project sits within the Center Street Community Development Project Area, which was established in 2013 for projects like Blue Sky.
In all those years, Blue Sky is the first to seek the financing.
Christensen is asking for $2.5 million post performance, meaning he would be reimbursed for making infrastructure improvements to the city sidewalks and easements, put all overhead wires underground and upgrade parking in the area.
With Provo’s approval, Christensen must now go to the Provo School District, Utah County Commission, the water district and other taxing entities to get their approval on the funding.
If that clears approval, Blue Sky construction can finally start.
The development is a six-story, mixed-use project with bottom floor parking, ground floor retail along Center Street, and smaller office spaces on 100 East. The project also includes five stories of apartments and upscale amenities.
The third floor will feature a clubhouse as well as outdoor meeting and recreational areas. The rooftop also will have the capacity to host outdoor gatherings with eating spaces, fire pits and more.
In the past two years, Christensen has been able to negotiate parking spaces for the retail and office spaces in the Wells Fargo parking terrace, which was a big hurdle in providing parking for his commercial tenants and guests.
Councilman David Harding said the Blue Sky development would bring more residential opportunities to downtown Provo and turn around the blighted area.
“This is clearly a good example of what the TIF (Tax Increment Funding) should be used for,” Harding said.
Councilman Bill Fillmore added: “This is a much-needed project. I would like to see about a half dozen of these kinds of developments on the west side of town all the way to the freeway.”