Ever since the Kmart near Antioch Crossing in the Northland closed in 2014, ideas for what to do with it have come and gone while the building has remained empty.
The latest proposal seems promising: Lockard Integrated Real Estate Solutions out of Cedar Falls, Iowa, has a proposal to build 176,000 square feet of new and redeveloped retail space at the shuttered Kmart site at northeast Vivion Road and northeast Chouteau Drive.
Lockard IRES is seeking tax increment financing, a tool that allows developers to use new taxes generated by a project to pay for certain development costs. According to a filing with the TIF Commission of Kansas City, Hobby Lobby will anchor the new development.
The Kmart dates back to 1968. It has been one of a few empty Kmart buildings to dot the Kansas City metro area’s landscape in recent years as the retailer’s fortunes have turned. A former Kmart location in Liberty became Liberty Commons. Another empty Kmart building in Merriam at Antioch Road and Shawnee Mission Parkway is the subject of a proposed redevelopment plan by Block & Co.
Lockard IRES is a real estate firm that reports $2 billion in projects in 28 states, ranging from as far west as California to as far east as Maryland. The Vivion Point project would be its first in the Kansas City area.
Lockard IRES is expected to present its request for public assistance to the TIF Commission on April 18. The $45.4 million project would involve $29.5 million in private debt and equity.
About $10 million costs are eligible for reimbursement through TIF, while another $5.9 million in the project’s financing plan would come from revenues of a community improvement district.