Argentine fast-food restaurant on tonight’s UG committee agenda

The Argentine fast-food restaurant proposal returns to tonight’s Unified Government Economic Development and Finance Committee agenda, only about a month since it was last discussed.

The proposed $1.96 million project is a combined Wendy’s and Pizza Hut at 18th and Metropolitan Avenue. Incentives and grants, including a federal grant of $600,000, are proposed for the project.

The project proposal, according to the UG agenda, would receive all property taxes and sales taxes in the project area for the next 20 years, proposes a 1 percent community improvement district on sales for 22 years, and proposes a $400,000 grant from the UG.

About a month ago, UG Commissioner Ann Brandau Murguia requested that the development proposal be brought before the commission for consideration, after a few years went by without it being presented to the commission. She could not get the UG to place the item on the agenda for a long time. The Argentine Betterment Corp. is proposing the project. She said she was not speaking in her capacity as commissioner.

Commissioner Brandau Murguia had promoted the project through the past few years, and told a UG committee about a month ago that she would not benefit financially from this project, and also that she is stepping down as executive director of the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association in December. She said she would not be voting on this project.

Also, she said after the delays in getting the proposal brought to the UG, the project is now smaller than the original; Dunkin’ Donuts dropped out, and the amount of the federal grant was reduced.

She explained that the federal grant that has been awarded to the project is aimed at encouraging new jobs in low-income areas. At the last meeting, she said the project would create about 20 jobs, including many entry-level jobs.

Tonight, the agenda says the agreement is being brought forward, but the proposed development agreement does not have the support of the UG administration. The administration’s objections listed in the agenda include that the ABC will not provide for reversionary interest in the land if the project is not completed according to the agreement. The land came from the Kansas Department of Transportation. Also, the administration listed the special sales tax agreement, which would require 20 years of special project monitoring. According to the administration, the developer will only pay 1 percent of the UG’s proposed 2 percent administration fee.

At the UG committee meeting about a month ago, Commissioner Murguia-Brandau said the UG’s survey contained questions about the Argentine fast-food restaurant, and 74.7 percent of the residents county-wide were in support of it, with 100 percent of the District 3 residents in support of it.

Other items on the EDF Committee agenda include a third-quarter investment report; an ordinance authorizing capital maintenance improvement projects; a resolution authorizing the sale of municipal temporary notes and general obligation improvement bonds; and an amendment to the Rainbow Village Development Agreement.

The EDF Committee meeting follows the 5 p.m. Neighborhood and Community Development Committee meeting Monday, Oct. 29, at the fifth-floor meeting room, City Hall, 701 N. 7th St., Kansas City, Kansas.

The NCD meeting at 5 p.m. includes a number of Land Bank items. The agendas are at www.wycokck.org.

An Oct. 1, 2018, story on the fast-food restaurant is at http://wyandottedaily.com/argentine-fast-food-restaurant-proposal-under-discussion/.

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