The owner of the historic Power & Light Building wants to dump some baggage that’s hampering its sale — a 2002 tax increment financing plan approved for a developer whose proposal fizzled years ago.
By KEVIN COLLISON
The Kansas City Star
Gailoyd Enterprises, the entity representing the New York family that has owned the art deco skyscraper since 1964, has asked the Kansas City Tax Increment Financing Commission to terminate the dormant TIF plan when the body meets next month.
The existing plan was approved for a redevelopment proposed more than a decade ago by Alsation Land Co. It called for renovating the 36-story landmark at 14th Street and Baltimore Avenue into modern office space and building an 18-story condo tower atop a 700-space parking garage on the vacant property immediately to the north.
The proposed garage was to have included 10,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor that was to be controlled by the Cordish Co., the Baltimore owner and operator of the adjoining Power & Light District entertainment area. Cordish also was to have access to 500 spaces in the garage after hours.
The Alsation deal died, but the TIF plan and its redevelopment concept have lived on.
Now Gailoyd wants to terminate the plan, believing it has clouded the sale of the old tower and adjoining property.
Last March, Gailoyd listed the property for $17.5 million. Sherman Associates, a Minneapolis firm specializing in historic renovation, struck a $13.75 million deal with a plan to convert it to 200 apartments, but that deal fell through in November.
Spencer Thomson, Gailoyd’s attorney, said the firm thought the obsolete TIF plan had been a “major impediment” to marketing the property because potential buyers don’t know what their obligations might be under the terms of the previous development scheme.
“The plan that’s in place is not practical and feasible in today’s market,” Thomson said. “As a result, we want a clean slate for any future developers.”
The TIF Commission staff is recommending approval of the plan’s termination, which was due to expire anyway at the end of March.
What difference the termination of the TIF will make to the Cordish agreement is uncertain.
City planning director Bob Langenkamp said the agreement with Cordish about the use of the garage that was included in the earlier Alsation proposal was separate from the TIF plan. He said that garage deal was part of the city’s overall master development agreement with Cordish for the Kansas City Power & Light District.
Nick Benjamin, the Cordish official in charge of the Power & Light District, said the firm believes its agreement with the city remains unchanged.
“The termination of the TIF would have no impact on our rights as to development on the Power & Light Building block,” he said.
Regardless, Gib Kerr, the broker who has been working for Gailoyd in marketing the property, said eliminating the TIF plan would make his job easier.
“It was creating some confusion because it was an old plan that no longer has any use,” Kerr said. “Anything that raises questions isn’t helpful.”
Donovan Mouton, a consultant for Sherman Associates, said the Minnesota developer was still interested in the Power & Light building.
“Ending the TIF would definitely help,” he said. “It would vacate the obligations of the city with that land, which would make it simpler.”
To reach Kevin Collison, call 816-234-4289 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at kckansascity.