Judging from the unanimous reception Wednesday by a Kansas City Council committee, developers Butch Rigby and Byron Pendleton will get the zoning change they seek from the full council Thursday for another redevelopment on East 63rd Street.
Rigby and Pendleton need a zoning change to add a second story to a building under rehabilitation on the southwest corner of 63rd and Holmes streets.
With the addition, the vacant building is planned to house a microbrewery, restaurant and pilates studio on the first floor and offices on the second floor.
The building is one of a series of empty or underused retail and office spaces stretching east from Oak Street toward Troost Avenue that a handful of developers are renovating with tax abatement assistance. That district last year earned designation as a Planned Industrial Expansion Area, qualifying projects for tax abatement.
City staff recommended approval of the latest Rigby/Pendleton project, provided compliance with certain conditions about meeting space requirements in the adjacent parking lot, improvements in landscaping and lighting, and other infrastructure details.
Members of the council’s Planning, Zoning & Economic Development Committee praised the work being done to revitalize the corridor between the Brookside and Landing shopping centers.
Rigby said the corridor was 85 percent vacant five years ago but now is repopulating commercial buildings as quickly as they are renovated, thanks to lower rents than in higher-priced areas of the city. Those rents, he said, are possible because of the tax abatements negotiated separately for each renewal project.
Committee chairman Scott Taylor and committee member Lee Barnes said they appreciated that Rigby has met separately with taxing jurisdictions, such as the county and the public library, in advance of each project request to arrive at acceptable tax abatement percentages and lengths and to agree on payments in lieu of taxes.