Archive for Kansas City Kansas

Indian Springs development proposal moves forward after sparks fly at meeting

A Unified Government committee moved the $25 million Indian Springs development proposal forward after a contentious meeting tonight at City Hall.

The “flex-tech” proposal from Axis Point Developers LLC, formed by the principals of Lane4 Property Group, is planned for about 26 acres of old Indian Springs shopping mall site. The property is about 100 acres at 47th and State Avenue, according to officials.

During the meeting Commissioner Ann Murguia walked out, stating that she would not vote for this or any other development project until her 3rd District fast-food project is brought up on the agenda for consideration. She said she had been trying to get her project to move forward here for a year and a half; it had received a federal grant.

Developers stated at the meeting they are hoping to jump-start the Indian Springs redevelopment with this “flex-tech” or light industrial and office use on the south part of the property. They stated there was little interest currently from large retailers in locating there. With a “flex-tech” project, they can bring hundreds of employees onto the property, which they hope generates retail, housing or office space interest in the north part of the Indian Springs property from other developers.

While Hunter Harris of Lane4 said there was a company interested in being a “flex-tech” tenant of the building, he did not name the company, saying it was confidential.

Committee members voted 4-1 in favor of the Indian Springs project moving forward to the full commission, and some of those voting in favor said they were just interested in bringing it to the full UG Commission on April 6 for a discussion with two commissioners whose districts were in that area. In their remarks, the commissioners who voted in favor of it did not express their full support for the project tonight. The motions included a phrase that they were moving it to the full commission on April 6 for more discussion. A public hearing and possibly a vote will be held on April 27.

Board of Public Utilities Member David Alvey, who serves on the UG committee, voted against the project. Alvey, who is running for mayor, said that selling the site for $750,000 when the UG has already invested about $16 million in it is like handing it over for free. The proposed project also has a 75 percent tax abatement for about 10 years.

He also mentioned the UG agenda documents about the project getting some price breaks from the BPU.

“The numbers don’t work for the BPU,” Alvey said. He also pointed out that although the project seems to be meant as a stimulus for the north side of the Indian Springs property, there is no bridge in place, so they are making this move without any guarantee development is actually going to happen on the north side.

While he usually votes with the consensus of the UG committee, this time he can’t do it because he is expressing the BPU concerns about it, and also he is concerned about this deal, he said.

Marlon Goff, UG economic development director, stated that the UG would retain ownership of the rest of the Indian Springs property, while it would sell about one-fourth of it under this proposal.

Doug Spangler, a former state representative from Kansas City, Kansas, and a former Edwardsville city administrator, asked the committee many questions about the project. Harris confirmed that if the total cost is $25 million, with a total square footage of 350,000 square feet, the cost per square foot is $71.

“So you’re going to build a flex-tech building for $71 a square foot, is that, in your experience as a developer, $71 a foot, is that Class A?” Spangler asked. “Those numbers seem to me that they don’t pay for concrete and square footage.”

Harris responded that it would be indicative of a Class A flex-tech park.

“You won’t come back to the Unified Government and say, we had cost overruns?” Spangler asked.

Harris responded they have been asked to explore if there were BPU tap fees associated with the former mall that the development group could maintain. Other than that, they don’t get to come back to the UG for cost overruns, he added. All the risk is borne by the developer of the project, and he has never come back on any other project with the UG, he said.

The BPU fees will not be structured into the UG’s development agreement, according to the administrator, and Spangler then said there could be more public assistance to the project from the BPU.

“I hate to see repetitively where development agreements are advanced toward a commission on a timeline that’s not fast-tracked, that’s supersonic,” Spangler said.

Spangler also questioned whether this commercial development was entitled to a 50 percent or 75 percent tax abatement.

He said he would love to have a developer go to 7th and Quindaro and develop that area.

“Indian Springs has been so badly mishandled by the administration, not the politicians, it is terrible,” he said. “We have over $16 million of public money, and under this proposal, your calculation only recovers $259,000 a year. That’s totally unacceptable. I would take it back to the drawing board, and I don’t think this process complies with law as it relates to the disposal of property.”

He said he believed the UG needed to receive permission from the Building Commission, an ordinance to make that transaction.

Commissioner Melissa Bynum pointed out that the committee in January had asked Lane4 to come back with a proposal, which they did tonight. She also stated that Alvey and others had raised pertinent questions.

UG Administrator Doug Bach said the UG had invested a lot of money in Indian Springs, the decision was made over a decade ago to demolish it, and it wasn’t anything that Lane4 asked for. The UG is trying to recoup those dollars and make it a viable project, he said. He said there has been some other interest from developers, and this project was ready to go and was brought forward by Lane4.

Bach said the “flex-tech” project, after 10 years, would turn back about $3 million to the local community. After that, the project would be paying about $450,000 to $500,000 a year in property tax, he said.

Bach said the trouble with the Argentine fast-food project not getting on the agenda was that it took an investment of dollars from the UG’s bank to put it into place, and until they had a deal, he hasn’t brought it back. They have been working on it, he said.

In answer to a question from Commissioner Gayle Townsend, Harris said there was a potential to lose the “flex-tech” tenant if there is a delay.

Under the timeline presented by the developer, the project would go before the UG Commission April 27 for approval, and building would take place over the summer, with the “flex-tech” building up and running by September.

This year’s UG mayoral and commission elections include a primary in August and a general election in November.

To see earlier stories about the Indian Springs project, visit


Jayhawk-leading Cowley sweeps KCKCC in softball twinbill

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

The old axiom that good softball pitching beats good hitting never rang more true than in Kansas City Kansas Community College’s doubleheader loss to Jayhawk Conference leader Cowley College Sunday.

Two Cowley hurlers held the Lady Blue Devils to just seven hits in 5-1 and 9-1 conference wins. The sweep kept the Lady Tigers (20-11) unbeaten in Jayhawk play at 8-0 while KCKCC fell to 10-10 overall and 1-5 in conference play.

The Blue Devils go back on the road to Cloud County Tuesday and Ottawa JV Wednesday before returning home Saturday to host Labette in a twin bill starting at 2 p.m.

“Two bad innings really did us in,” KCKCC coach Kacy Tillery said. Cowley scored all of its runs in the fourth inning of the 5-1 opener and six runs in the third inning of the second game.

KCKCC sophomore Megan Sumonja retired the first 10 hitters in the opener only to have the next six Tigers reach base in a 5-run fourth inning that included a 3-run double and an RBI triple and double. The Tigers finished with nine hits while Sumonja struck out five, walked two.

Allison Kasick doubled and Amy Grace-Wilson, Mikaela Hoffart and Katherine Stringer singled for the Blue Devil hits. KCKCC’s lone run came after 12 Blue Devils had been retired in a row on a walk, a single by Hoffart and Grace-Wilson’s sacrifice fly.

The Blue Devils took a 1-0 lead into the third inning of the nightcap only to have the Tigers explode for 14 hits over the next three innings against three KCKCC hurlers.

Kaylynn Stratton, who had two of KCKCC’s three hits, led off the first inning with a single, stole second and scored on Wilson’s two-out single.

Carley Strawn got the win for Cowley, striking out four, walking one and retiring 10 of the last 12 hitters she faced.

Land Bank items, sidewalk discussion on UG committee agenda tonight

An update on the sidewalk and trails master plan, an update on Land Bank policy and several Land Bank applications are on the agenda for the 5 p.m. Unified Government Neighborhood and Community Development Committee meeting.

The meeting will be held on the fifth floor, City Hall, 701 N. 7th St., Kansas City, Kansas.

After an update on the implementation of the sidewalk and trails master plan, the topic will move on to an update on Land Bank policy.

Several Land Bank property applications are listed on the agenda, including:
• 858 N. 52nd St., yard extension
• 3137 Georgia Ave., yard extension
• 144R Tiblow Lane, yard extension
• 2050 N. Thompson St., yard extension
• 2054 N. Thompson St., yard extension
• 3021 N. 11th St., yard extension
• 828 Bunker Ave., yard extension
• 815 Parallel Ave., yard extension
• 1506 Richmond Ave., yard extension
• 2621 N. 61st St., yard extension
• 5205 Woodend Ave., yard extension
• 1053 Garfield Ave., yard extension
• 331 Troup Ave., yard extension
• 945 Tenny Ave., yard extension
• 1835 N. 12th St., yard extension
• 1731 N. 24th St., yard extension
• 1423 Walker Ave., yard extension
• 1513 Greeley Ave., yard extension
• 1735 N. 24th St., property acquisition
• 1425 Walker Ave., property acquisition
• 1511 Greeley Ave., property acquisition
• 1522 Greeley Ave., property acquisition
• 1526 Greeley Ave., property acquisition
• 1909 N. Thompson St., Zion Economic Foundation, property acquisition
• 240 S. Bethany St., property acquisition
• 3405 N. 30th St., Zion Travelers Missionary Church, property acquisition
• 3413 N. 30th St., Zion Travelers Missionary Church, property acquisition
• 3417 N. 30th St., Zion Travelers Missionary Church, property acquisition
• 3421 N. 30th St., Zion Travelers Missionary Church, property acquisition
• 3425 N. 30th St., Zion Travelers Missionary Church, property acquisition
• 2819 S. 8th St., Construction Services Unlimited, LLC – rehab (Land Bank Rehab Program)
• 631 Freeman Ave., Construction Services Unlimited, LLC – rehab (Land Bank Rehab Program)

In addition, these transfers from the Land Bank are on the agenda:
• 1050 Splitlog Ave., CHWC (This property will be transferred to CHWC for Splitlog Farms)
• 631 Linda Lane, City of Bonner Springs
• 637 Linda Lane, City of Bonner Springs
• 529 Stephen Lane, City of Bonner Springs
• 535 Stephen Lane, City of Bonner Springs
(The city of Bonner Springs is requesting properties for their future multi-use trail system up Spring Creek, according to the agenda. These properties are not developable and are within the 100-year floodplain of Spring Creek.)

Listed as donations to the Land Bank were 341 N. 14th St. from the estate of George Breidenthal; and 13050 Canaan Center Dr. – Canaan Development, Inc. The city of Bonner Springs is requesting that Land Bank take property for vault and hold for the potential continued development of Canaan Center, according to the agenda.

On the 5:30 p.m. March 27 Economic Development and Finance Committee Standing Committee agenda, besides the Indian Springs item, are these other items:

• A report on the 2016 fourth quarter budget and budget revisions.
• A report on the 2017 Comprehensive Fee Schedule.
• A resolution designating eligible financial institutions for investing UG funds.
• A resolution amending the Master Equipment Lease Purchase Agreement with Banc of America Public Capital Corp.
• A discussion of the Summit at Silver City Park, a 34-unit single-family residential development proposed at 2701 Ruby Ave., the former Silver City Park, by Heartland Housing Partners LLC.

The meetings tonight are open to the public.