A new YMCA at the former Lyric Opera building moved closer to reality Thursday with the Kansas City Council’s approval for up to $4 million in state tax credits for the $30 million project.
The city agreed to seek the credits from the Missouri Development Finance Board. The board’s approval would generate the 50-percent tax credits that could be claimed by eligible taxpayers for financial donations and other contributions to the project.
Fundraising efforts so far have garnered $21 million, leaving about a $9 million gap that the YMCA of Greater Kansas City is working to fill this summer. The $4 million in tax credits would apply to $8 million in additional funding from qualified taxpayers and may help attract larger gifts from those supporters.
The $21 million raised to date includes $16.9 million in Tax Increment Financing support from the council. TIF allows a developer to retain newly generated property, earnings, sales and other activity taxes that come about because of the project that would not be expected to proceed without that financial support. TIF dollars can be used for eligible development and construction costs.
Development plans call for preserving and incorporating the vacant Lyric’s facade and redeveloping its 20,000 square feet and building an additional 45,000 square feet on the north side of the structure at 1029 Central St.
Kansas City’s downtown YMCA would be one of two nationwide in a pilot program to prevent, treat and educate residents about chronic diseases such as diabetes. Truman Medical Center would be a tenant in the new facility as part of the Community Health Initiative pilot.