After encountering a few obstacles, the Sugarland Center is now chugging ahead at full steam.

After encountering a few obstacles, the Sugarland Center is now chugging ahead at full steam.

“We’re getting there,” Sugar Creek Mayor Stan Salva said. “We’ve had a number of problems in terms of removing structures.”

Sugarland is a 225,000-square-foot retail redevelopment along the northwest corner of U.S. 24 and Sterling Avenue in Sugar Creek. Phase one will include a 45,000-square-foot supermarket operated by Associated Wholesale Grocers as well as a variety of retail stores.

Thirty-three properties in the redevelopment area were purchased by the city and sold to developer Jeff Peterson, who is heading the Tax Increment Financing project, which allows developers to use new taxes generated by the project to offset construction costs. The developer has 23 years to repay the TIF. The city will be reimbursed with the issuance of the tax increment financing bonds. While all the buildings have been demolished, some have not yet been removed from the area.

“We hope to have all the structures out of there before Christmas,” Salva said.

Salva said the city is still looking at options available for issuance of the TIF bonds. The city has been working closely with Springsted, Inc., a financial advisory service in Kansas City that has helped the city develop a plan to address interim financing and the distribution of the bonds.

“We’ve had some delays,” Salva said, “but we should have the site cleared and ready for grading very soon.”

Salva said construction on the site should get under way by mid to late summer of next year.