CUYAHOGA FALLS — A development firm is hoping to convince officials to let it build two apartment buildings totaling about 370 units on two parking decks between Front and Second streets downtown.

Both the city and the city school district would have to support the $45 million plan for construction to proceed.

The city council’s finance and appropriations committee will review a proposal to authorize the city to enter an agreement with CF Development Group LLC for the construction of an apartment building on top of the city’s green parking deck at 2221 Second St. and a second building on top of the blue deck at 2035 Old Town Loop Road. Community Development Director Diana Colavecchio said that about half of the 370 units are proposed to be built on top of each deck. Each apartment building will be five to six stories high.

Colavecchio said the council committee will meet with the Cuyahoga Falls Board of Education at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Cuyahoga Falls High School library to discuss the proposal.

Colavecchio said the development group approached the city about building the project.

The proposed residential development is the type of project that was “anticipated” in the study of the reopening of Front Street performed by Gibbs Planning Group, Colavecchio said.

“We think it’s a great project for the overall vitality of growing our downtown,” Colavecchio said.

The development pact would require approval of a 15-year, 100 percent tax abatement and a 30-year, 100 percent Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreement, both of which need to be approved by the city council and the Board of Education.

Both properties that are eyed for the projects are in an Opportunity Zone created through the passage of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017. Colavecchio noted the state has certified 320 Opportunity Zones, which are eligible for tax breaks in some cases to spur economic development and job creation.

Colavecchio said that areas must be in “low- to moderate-income census blocks” to qualify for designation as an Opportunity Zone.

“The whole idea is to incentivize development in these low to moderate income areas,” she said.

Several pieces of legislation need to be approved before the project can start.

In addition to the development agreement, tax abatement and TIF deals, Colavecchio said the council also needs to approve a revenue-sharing agreement with the school district, the creation of an “air rights parcel” and a lease between the city and the developer.

Colavecchio said an air rights parcel means the developer “would own the air above the deck.”

“It has to be created as an entirely separate real estate parcel on the tax rolls,” Colavecchio said.

On the lease agreement, the developer will pay rent to the city, which Colavecchio said will be used for maintenance of the decks.

The green deck development would occur first, followed by the blue deck, about two years later.

The proposed tax abatement, if approved, would mean the developer would not pay any property taxes for 15 years, Colavecchio said. She noted the developer has committed to giving the school district some scholarship money and “possibly some internships.”

If the 15-year tax abatement and the 30-year TIF are both approved, it would mean neither the school district nor the city will receive any property tax money from the proposed developments for a 30-year period, according to Colavecchio.

Starting in Year 16 of the TIF deal, Colavecchio said the developer would begin making Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) into an escrow fund that it can use toward construction expenses.

Once the TIF agreement ends in 30 years, the school district would begin receiving $396,957 in real estate tax money from the green deck property, and would then receive the same amount from the blue deck starting about two years later, said Colavecchio. Those figures will continue to increase as the years unfold.

In the revenue-sharing deal, the income tax money generated by the construction wages for the project would be funneled from the city to the Cuyahoga Falls City School District, Colavecchio said. She added that it is estimated that each deck project would generate between $150,000 and $175,000 in income taxes that would go to the schools.

The project has “a lot of moving pieces,” Colavecchio said.

The developer needs a commitment that the legislation would be approved by the end of May so that it has time to meet a deadline by the end of June, Colavecchio said. If these steps happen in those time frames, Colavecchio said the developer would begin doing engineering and analysis work this fall.

Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.