Those wanting to voice opinions on the Shawnee Parkway Plaza redevelopment project will have a chance to do so at a public hearing.
The Shawnee City Council voted Monday voted to conduct a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. March 11 over the project plan proposed for the Shawnee Parkway Plaza as well as a transportation development district also planned for the site. The project is the first time the city of Shawnee has used two special taxing districts to help pay for development costs.
The council earlier this month established a TIF district that would use increases in tax revenue generated by the redevelopment project to reimburse developers for certain project costs. This additional tax revenue will include any increase to property tax and additional sales taxes generated. The TIF will reimburse developers up to $3.25 million.
The project plan for the TIF district calls for removing structures currently on the site, moving Midland drive farther south, realigning parking lots and creating at least six commercial retail plats. Nuts and Bolts Hardware will fill one of the planned plats.
Tom Kaleko offered an overview of the feasibility study done by Springsted, the city’s financial adviser. Kaleko said Sprinsted created “what if” scenarios to test the developers’ assumption about how much tax revenue the TIF would generate. He said Springsted scaled down projected sales tax revenue by 10 percent and then additional 5 percent in case some of the retail space was not rented. The projected revenue was scaled down another 5 percent for tax-exempt items that might be sold.
With these conservative estimates, Kaleko said it would take the TIF district 17 years to reimburse the developer. Shawnee financial director Moreen Rodgers said the TIF and transportation districts have a lifespan of 20 and 22 years, respectively.
In addition to the project plan, the council approved a public hearing for the transportation development district at the same location as the TIF district. The transportation district would generate $3.75 through an additional 1 percent sales tax at the shopping center. That revenue would pay for infrastructure modifications needed during the redevelopment.
As part of the redevelopment Midland Drive, a frontage road for Shawnee Mission Parkway will move further south to make room for additional storefronts. To aid increased traffic to the shopping center, a traffic light will be placed at the intersection of Noland Road and Shawnee Mission Parkway. Storm water drainage will also need improvements.
One Shawnee resident voiced concerns about the transportation district proposal. Ann Noburry said she thought the 1 percent tax increase was unfair.
“I think this an unwelcome precedent,” she said.
Norburry said that the transportation district unfairly favored one developer and would have a negative impact on the lower and mid-level income residents of Shawnee.
She said the Ikea store opening in Merriam in 2014 should bring a positive impact to any retail within five miles. Because the Shawnee Plaza is within that five-mile radius, she said the shopping center would not need tax incentives.
The council unanimously approved the public hearings.
Also Monday, the council approved a change to the planned industrial zoning districts. City Manager Carol Gonzales said the new ordinance allows some office space in industrial districts. She said the change came about because many of the buildings in industrial areas have flexible uses that could allow for office space. Previously the city had banned offices that would bring customers into industrial areas.
“We’re changing our vision of what we call industrial space,” Gonzales said.