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April 17, 2009



Preaching to the choir, my friend. How can we get started?


Great post! The Mayor said he would help neighborhoods in KC. So far he hasn't. He's approved plenty of new TIF's though. A big problem that has to be overcome is the cost of bringing these abandoned houses back into use. Suburbs are experiencing this now as foreclosed homeowners tear up their property before the bank takes it. The numbers to fix up and return the house to use don't work. The stimulus money could be used for this purpose. Will it in KC? Go for it!


Yeah Robyne, making the numbers work is tough. In order for someone to be able to make this work they have to have the money. Many of these houses can be bought for $10-20,000 -- however, would require $100k to fix up. Well, no bank is going to loan out money for mor ethan the house is worth. So it takes a lot of out of pocket cash in order for it to work (and there is a limit to who has that type of cash sitting around). It's a huge issue, and isn't going to happen on a grand scale without some type of government support...

Scott, I'm not 100% sure what the first step is to get started...I'm open to suggestions. But ignoring the problem sure isn't working...


The point on TIF isn't 100% true because we don't know where exactly money spent at P+L or Legends would've been spent if those developments didn't exist. Further, blaming the closing or lack of revenue at other establishments isn't correct because we need evidence making a direct correlation to the loss of revenue at the existing business. There are clear-cut abuses of TIF like the Wal-Mart situation at Bannister/Blue Ridge. I know for a fact that places like P+L or Legends attract a lot of money from people outside the residing county or even the entire region that wouldn't step foot downtown or in WyCo without the new development. If someone from Lawrence goes to KC specifically for a trip to the Legends, that is sales tax money, jobs, revenue going to Wyandotte County that is brand new. When discussing this theory that all sales tax money is just redistributed within the county/city, you are failing to admit that in many of the tourist-aimed developments, there is new revenue being created from people outside the immediate area. It is also true that money from the KS side is being dumped downtown at the P+L district that probably wouldn't have ended up in KCMO to begin with.



I want to make it perfectly clear that I'm not criticizing the P&L TIF program. Honestly, I don't mind that development. It revitalized a nearly completely dead area of downtown, and is attracting tourism dollars that otherwise would not come to KCMO (although, admittedly, taking away solid convention dollars from the Plaza -- where these people used to go before). But overall, I think the P&L is probably a solid use of TIF (even if the financials were more risky to the taxpayers than they should have been). I wouldn't say the same about any of the redevelopment along Barry Road (most of which is TIFed) or Briarcliff or Shoal Creek.

I think the Legends has overall been pretty good for KCK -- although I do think that overall it has spread their city out a TON in a way that is killing them financailly because it has spread out their infastructure/public transit needs. But overall, I agree that the P&L is not a terrible use of TIF -- but do criticize the amount of financial risk that was involved and that no one apparently read the fine print -- ie, why is the entire district not open yet 18 months after it was "promised" to be open?


Re: P+L
Cordish did not sign any sort of contract mandating that the entire area be 100% leased. I don't know of any developer that opens new developments 100% leased. Look to Zona Rosa, One Nineteen, Park Place, etc. for examples. My thought and hope is that Cordish is looking for the RIGHT retail and not just any retail. If Cordish puts in the RIGHT tenants instead of just any tenants, the sales tax revenue could increase across the board. And in terms of P+L taking away from the Plaza-- I haven't heard of any bar/restaurants down there closing or losing considerable revenue. Have you?

I just think the discussion needs to center more on how TIF can be improved instead of generally blasting them. IMHO, the entire urban core needs super TIF and federal gov't relief to cover the difference as there are definite state of emergency areas. There are obvious abuses in many of the suburbs and the system needs to be corrected so strip malls aren't taking advantage of the system.

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