Kansas City bought a shopping center.
The $950,000 acquisition, designed to inject life back into the moribund Linwood Shopping Center at Linwood Boulevard and Prospect Avenue, was completed Monday.
Neighborhood and Housing Services Director John Wood said redevelopment from this point forward is likely to cost $15 million.
The purchase, approved in December by the City Council, was pursued given that no private developer had stepped forward to revive the strip mall, whose key tenant, a grocery store, had closed in 2007.
Wood said the next redevelopment steps will take the project before the Tax Increment Financing Commission to seek financing assistance. If approved, future property tax revenues from the project will be diverted to help cover the redevelopment costs.
The city also will work toward an operating agreement with an intended Sun Fresh supermarket as the center’s anchor store. R.H. Johnson, a retail real estate services company, will be a partner with the city on the grocery redevelopment. The existing building will be demolished, and a new supermarket is targeted for a 2017 opening.
Kansas City bought the center from Linwood Shopping Center Initiative LLC, an entity established by Don Maxwell, that has owned the property since 2014.
Maxwell’s company will continue to handle property management at the center and be tasked with bringing new tenants to renovated retail spaces on each side of the grocery.
Third District Councilman Jermaine Reed said he was delighted to have the long-planned transaction completed as a way to inject new retail life into the neighborhood.
The city raised money for the purchase by selling bonds to investors. It expects to repay the loan with taxes generated from the redevelopment.