With the final steps of its taxing districts completed, the commercial development project slated for the empty lot across from Garden City Plaza will begin construction within the next few weeks.
The project, developed by 2107 E. Kansas LLC, a subsidiary of First National Bank, will transform the 11-acre plot of undeveloped land into a $25.7 million commercial development, consisting of six to eight new buildings for retail companies and restaurants, most likely anchored by a new First National Bank. The site is just northeast of the intersection of Kansas Avenue and Campus Drive, next door to Target.
The developer requested the establishment of both a Community Improvement District and a Tax Increment Financing District for the project.
In a TIF district, a portion of the company’s property taxes are diverted to help fund the development of the land, in this case, the construction of infrastructure components like utilities, drainage, landscaping, roads and parking lots. The CID would establish an additional 1% sales tax for certain purchases in the new development, which would, again, help finance the project.
At the Garden City Commission’s Tuesday meeting, the CID was established and the TIF project plan approved in separate public hearings.
Some local business owners spoke out against the establishment of the TIF district in March, showing frustration that a large developer was receiving aid from the city as smaller businesses struggled under the weight of their increasing property valuations. No members of the public spoke out at either hearing Tuesday and the motions passed unanimously.
Kristin Czubkowski, developer representative and attorney with Polsinelli law firm in Kansas City, Missouri, said the project would be a $30.3 million investment into Garden City, including city dollars. The developer will not get paid through the TIF district and CID unless it generates revenue for the project, she said.
Czubkowski said infrastructure development and construction will begin once the contractors have demolition permits to tear down several vacant, dilapidated buildings on the property. She said the development should better connect the area’s other commercially developed properties, as well as open up possibilities to develop unused property to the north of the project.
“... Garden City’s in a great place right now and there’s a lot of potential to bring in some great new users,” Czubkowski said.
In other business, the commission approved a memorandum of understanding with JET Properties regarding utilities development at Southeast Community Park, approved an employment agreement with City Manager Matt Allen with an increase of about $7,290 for a salary increase and change to travel allowances, and dubbed July 1 Chief Allen Shelton Day, in honor of the Garden City fire chief’s upcoming retirement. CPA Theresa Dasenbrock of Lewis, Hooper and Dick also discussed the city’s 2018 finances, which received an unmodified auditor’s report, the best status they could get.
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