Milton City Hall

The City of Milton Common Council approved on Jan. 7 a $10,000 Commercial Façade Grant for Mitchell House Coffee, 130 Front Street.

City Administrator Al Hulick said that while coffee house owners Mark and Rhonda Mitchell had already received tax incremental financing (TIF) development funds for their project through a developers agreement with the city approved last April, as renovations continued, they found the scope of improvements had increased.

In a memo to council, Hulick wrote that the overall cost of the project was expected to exceed $300,000. In the past, he wrote, the city has provided façade grants to businesses that have also received TIF development funds.

“Ultimately, the funding source is the same,” he wrote, adding that the city has approved “duel grants to several properties that had multiple buildings, uses and addresses,” calling the practice “established” and having “precedent.”

As previously reported by the Milton Courier, the Mitchell House Coffee development agreement calls for the Mitchells to make improvements that would increase the Front Street property value by more than $200,000, generating an increase in annual property taxes paid to the city of $4,000. In return, the city has extended a loan of $40,000 to the Mitchells.

Each year the minimum tax payment is met, the city will forgive one-tenth of the loan amount until the full obligation is met. Funding for the loan is provided through TID No. 7.

The Mitchells purchased what had been a long-abandoned mill along Merchant Row in 2018. Plans call for the couple to construct a coffee house, second floor residence and garage and office space for the family-run construction business within the nearly 8,000-square-foot building.

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