The developers of two projects near the Interstate 470/U.S. 50 interchange in Lee’s Summit presented their conceptual plans to the City Council on Thursday, seeking public incentives to get the developments off the ground.
Drake Development and Haney & Co. Real Estate are proposing a 68-acre mixed-use project on the west side of Northwest Pryor Road between I-470 and Chipman Road.
The project, named the Streets of West Pryor, would include a 63,000-square-foot McKeever’s Market grocery store that would feature a wider variety of fresh and prepared foods than other stores in the local chain.
It would also include approximately 60,000 square feet of additional retail space, two hotels with a combined 200 rooms, and a pair of apartment complexes, one with 220 regular units and a second with 150 “active living” units restricted to residents 55 and older.
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“We think it’s a great gateway to your city,” said Matt Pennington, president of Drake, adding that he has been working on this development since 2014. “Some of the staff and even some on the council have said to me this is really our last really good piece in the (I-470) retail corridor, and we want it to be something special.”
Jeff Haney, president of Haney & Co., said the development would cost an estimated $150 million, of which the developers are seeking up to $30 million in public incentives through a combination of tax increment financing, community improvement and transportation development district sales taxes, industrial revenue bonds, hotel tax rebates and payments in lieu of taxes for the apartments.
Those payments, sometimes called PILOTs, mean the developer pays no property taxes on the apartments but agrees to pay a set annual portion of the taxes over the life of the development agreement.
Haney and Pennington said the public assistance is necessary to deal with the site’s rough topography and to complete traffic improvements on Lowenstein Drive and Pryor Road.
They also plan to move a set of high-tension power lines that bisect the property to a series of 90- and 110-foot -tall poles along Pryor Road.
Some council members thanked the developers for meeting regularly with nearby homeowners to get their input. For example, they agreed to move the regular apartments from the rear to the center of the property to gain more distance from the neighborhoods.
“I think generally you’ve done a good job of listening to the resident’ concerns,” said council member Rob Binney.
The second project involves NorthPoint Development’s proposal to build a second phase of apartments just west of its Summit Square Apartments complex at 789 NW Donovan Road.
Brett Miles with Northpoint said the company wants to construct five buildings with 326 units and an integrated clubhouse with a salt-water pool, fitness center and other amenities.
The first phase of Summit Square opened last fall and Miles said 63 percent of the more than 300 units are leased and 38 percent of occupied.
“Summit Square I has been successful; we want to do it again,” he said, adding that some of the proposed apartments would include luxury features.
To help build the estimated $40 million project, NorthPoint is requesting industrial revenue bonds, which give developers sales tax benefits on construction supplies, as well as PILOTs. Miles said he is proposing PILOTs of $1,075 a year per unit, which he said was based on the taxes of similar projects in the area.
“We don’t see that as an incentive or an abatement,” he said. “We’re paying and we’re locked in. We both know what we’re getting for 10 years.”
Assistant City Manager Mark Dunning told the council that staff would need to study the group’s proposal more but, “my initial gut is it might be a little higher than that.”
In general, council members said they reserved final judgment on the two proposals but told both groups they were moving in the right direction and to bring back formal requests later.
In other business, the council voted 6-1 to approve the city’s annual budget for the fiscal year beginning Sunday. The overall $200 million spending plan represents an 8 percent decrease from the previous year, which officials credited to the city completing a number of capital projects.
Just counting the general fund, which pays for the majority of city operations, city spending will rise 5.7 percent to $71 million, reflecting regular payroll increases and sharp expected increases in health insurance costs and ambulance service subsidies.
Council member Bob Johnson voted against the budget after raising concerns about revenue growth and saying he wanted more discussion about reducing the number of city positions.
The budget does not include any additional money to address an estimated 10 percent wage gap between the city and the market, but City Manager Steve Arbo said he has set up a task force in City Hall to come up with potential solutions.
David Twiddy: firstname.lastname@example.org