Northeast Joco

Action sets stage for sale of two centers

Prairie Village has transferred the Community Improvement Districts at Corinth Square and The Village Shops to the shopping center’s potential new owners.

The action sets the stage for the sale of the shopping centers to First Washington Realty, a Maryland-based company. The council voted 10-2 on Monday night to transfer the CIDs with councilmen Dan Runion and David Morrison opposed.

The centers will be bought as a joint venture between First Washington Realty and the California Public Employee Retirement System through Global Retail Investors. The group also purchased the Brookside Shopping Center north of 63rd Street this year. GRI owns 93 shopping centers in 22 states.

CIDs were put into effect at both centers in 2010. Both CIDs collect an additional 1 cent sales tax, providing funds for the centers’ renovation and maintenance. Prairie Village Shops is located at 71st Street and Mission Road and Corinth is located at 83rd Street and Mission Road.

Several council members spoke against the city’s decision to put CIDs in effect at the centers in 2010, including Jori Nelson and Brooke Morehead. Nelson said CIDs were “corporate welfare” and benefited owners and developers, not the city.

Morehead said she was also opposed to using public funds to improve private property. Proceeds from the 1 cent sales tax could be better used for streets and parks, she said. She urged the new owners to be more generous to the city of Prairie Village.

Although opposed to CIDs, Nelson and Morehead agreed the potential new owners have the qualifications and financial responsibility necessary to fulfill the CID obligations, which are in place until 2032.

Joshua Brown, First Washington Realty chief investment officer, said the company accepted the responsibility for improving the centers. “These centers have tremendous potential and we recognize that they can be improved in many ways.”

He added, “We can’t just focus on the real estate. We want to become a part of the community.”

John Anderson, a Prairie Village resident, spoke in favor of the CIDs.

“CIDs are critical to commercial development,” he said. He said most shopping centers in Kansas City received tax incentives and said the new owners’ expertise would benefit Prairie Village.