The Olathe City Council agreed Tuesday to give the owners of the Lone Elm Commerce Center a 10-year, 50-percent tax abatement on the 122-acre development on the north side of 167th Street a half-mile west of Lone Elm Road.
The developers envision building in phases an eight-lot complex of warehouses and distribution facilities encompassing 1.9 million square feet.
The first phase involves building a 210,000-square-foot distribution warehouse.
In addition to the abatement, the city has agreed to issue industrial revenue bonds on behalf of the developers. The city is not responsible for paying these bonds back, but developers typically buy them through local governments to take advantage of tax and interest-rate benefits.
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Council members also authorized work to begin on widening a section of Lone Elm Road between Old 56 Highway and 151st Street from two lanes to four lanes, as well as make improvements to the intersection of Lone Elm Road and Old 56 Highway and add street lights, sidewalks, and bicycle lanes.
The changes also will allow pedestrians to cross the existing bridge over a rail line.
Celia Duran, deputy director of public works, said the road project was one of the top three on the city’s priority list and would help alleviate significant delays and congestion during rush hour.
The entire project is estimated to cost $19.5 million with much of the funding coming from federal dollars.
Duran said design work will begin immediately and construction should be completed by 2020. Mayor Michael Copeland asked her to investigate completing the project earlier, even if that required negotiating with federal officials over payment.
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