Falls development moving forward

BRISTOL, Va. - We have new facts on the progress of a major retail development in Bristol, Virginia. 

The site for the Falls Shopping Center is currently being developed. Crews are clearing land and paving the way for new businesses to be built.

The first two phases of the four-phase project are full and a financial hurdle has been cleared, courtesy of the Virginia Tobacco Commission.

The commission recently provided $5.5 million for the project but Bristol, Virginia City Manager Dewey Cashwell says it's just a security blanket. "We will, in all likely hood, never touch that money. It's a back up plan. There have been some concerns on the part of the folks who are going to see the revenue bonds to finance the project, that the legislation might not be clear enough."

Cashwell tells News 5 the $5.5 million is a reinforcement of the state's commitment to the project, and will sit in escrow.

Money to pay for the project will come from revenue bonds and those bonds will be repaid with sales tax revenue.

Cashwell also says to expect more announcements in the coming months about other stores coming to the falls, including a "bulk quantity sales" and home improvement store.

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