Archive for Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bonner council approves first CID

New businesses to include True Value, pizza place

January 13, 2011

A new hardware store and pizza restaurant may be on their way to Bonner Spring as the City Council approved the city’s first Community Improvement District.

After conducting a public hearing Monday, the council unanimously approved implementation of the tax-financing tool at businesses on the southwest corner of Kansas Avenue and Kansas Highway 7. Developers will use the funds generated to make façade improvements to the 14,000-square-foot strip center on the south side of the development, improve the former Cummins Tool building to make way for a Nuts and Bolts True Value Hardware store, and develop a restaurant on the vacant pad site south of the McDonald’s.

Total cost of the improvements is estimated at $2.7 million, of which $1.4 million would be paid for through sales taxes generated within the district.

A Community Improvement District is an economic development tool that allows property owners to use additional property or sales taxes to fund improvements to their property. In this case, the district will install an additional 1 percent sales tax, which will be charged only on sales made at businesses within the district. The current sales tax in Bonner is 8.05 percent, making the sales tax 9.05 percent at businesses within the district.

Developer David Christie said he first became involved in redevelopment of the area when Lowe’s was interested in the property. While that deal fell through, he thought the new development would be a good fit because Nuts and Bolts stores are larger than other True Value stores and carry more merchandise.

Though it is not owned by the developer and would not be part of the improvements, the McDonald’s also will be included in the district. Because McDonald’s owner Tom Dobski was concerned about another fast food restaurant being built on the vacant pad site, Christie said it was likely the site would be developed for a pizza restaurant, such as Pizza Street.

“It would be silly for me to do anything that would hurt his business — that wouldn’t make any sense,” Christie said.

Dobski said he was not in direct opposition of the CID, but he was concerned that if the state moved forward with plans for an interchange at K-7 and Kansas Avenue, he would lose much of his parking lot. Dobski said he hoped to be given consideration for parking space as the lot to the south was developed, and Christie said he would work with McDonald’s to ensure plenty of parking.

“We just hope that the facility, whatever is built there, will complement the area and not compete with the area,” Dobski said.

Christie said some tenants of the strip center who have been financially unstable in the past would not be able to renew their leases. He said he would like to have the strip center vacant during remodeling and would like to attract more national chain businesses to the center.

Christie said he hoped to purchase the other buildings in that area, which contain Aaron’s Rentals, Dollar Tree and Goodwill, to improve them, as well.

Marcia Ashford, community and economic development director, said the district was contingent upon Christie completing purchase of the property by March 18. The sales tax increase would go into effect July 1 and would be in place for up to 22 years while the improvements were paid off, she said.

In other business, the council accepted final payment of the Front Street gravity sewer rehab project to Mill Valley Excavating.

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