Development

KC Council panel OKs 2 community improvement districts for Plaza-area parking garage

The InterContinental hotel’s request to establish a community improvement district has drawn attention to how CIDs are used. On Wednesday, a Kansas City Council committee approved two CIDs for a hotel and apartment project at 46th Street and Wornall Road.
The InterContinental hotel’s request to establish a community improvement district has drawn attention to how CIDs are used. On Wednesday, a Kansas City Council committee approved two CIDs for a hotel and apartment project at 46th Street and Wornall Road. tljungblad@kcstar.com

A Kansas City Council committee on Wednesday approved not one, but two community improvement districts to help pay for a parking garage on a Plaza-area development.

The net effect of two CIDs for a planned apartment and hotel development at 46th Street and Wornall Road is a 2 percent sales tax increase on retail and hotel sales at the project.

John McGurk, a Polsinelli attorney representing Plaza Hotels LLC for its $130 million project, said the two CIDs would raise an estimated $7 million, all going to pay for a parking garage. That garage would serve a 175-room hotel and a 132-unit apartment project planned for an L-shaped piece of land north of the Country Club Plaza.

CIDs are special taxing districts that can charge additional sales taxes or a special property tax assessment to pay for certain costs. It’s a tool that’s been used for years, but one that’s caught greater attention in recent weeks because of the InterContinental hotel’s effort to obtain one to remediate blight at the hotel and the downtown Marriott’s request for a CID to renovate its hotel rooms.

Under Missouri law, a CID can’t charge more than 1 percent additional sales tax. But there’s nothing stopping the formation of two CIDs to obtain an effective 2 percent sales tax increase.

The idea isn’t entirely without precedent. Parts of downtown Kansas City have two special taxing districts, which amounts to an additional 2 percent sales tax increase over existing state and local sales tax rates.

The Plaza project drew praise from the Kansas City Planning, Zoning & Economic Development Committee on Wednesday, passing unanimously to the full City Council.

The 46th & Wornall project received skepticism earlier this year when nearby property owners objected to the density and height of the original proposal. McGurk said Wednesday that the project was reduced by 40 percent to account for these concerns.

“It’s a very good example of a developer working with the community on a project that works for everybody,” said 4th District at-large Councilwoman Katheryn Shields.

Steve Vockrodt: 816-234-4277, @st_vockrodt

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