KC Council to vote on Citadel Plaza, Antioch Mall projects

The Kansas City Council’s Finance and Audit Committee gave the green light this morning to two key taxpayer-supported development projects that have been debated for years.

The full council will vote Thursday on financing for the projects — the Citadel Plaza in the central city and Antioch Mall in the Northland.

The $90 million Citadel Plaza, a shopping center at 63rd Street and Prospect Avenue, has been planned for more than seven years but has repeatedly been stalled by financial and environmental challenges.

It ultimately could require $43.7 million in tax-increment financing assistance, one of the largest economic development debts the city has ever guaranteed.

But the taxpayer assistance would be provided in phases, with the city issuing just $20.5 million in city-backed bonds in the first phase. The developer, Community Development Corp. of Kansas City, would have to meet a host of requirements before the city would issue a second, $23.3 million bond to cover site improvements and tenant allowances.

City Council members have worried about the risks associated with the project but acknowledge that the East Side deserves development support, especially after the city has spent years handing out tax incentives for projects on the Plaza and more prosperous parts of town.

The Finance and Audit Committee also supported an amendment to the Antioch Mall tax increment financing plan, allowing that project to move forward after four years of planning.

The redevelopment will occur at the aging shopping center at Antioch and Vivion roads in Clay County.

The Sears at the mall will remain in its existing site, but the rest of the mall will be demolished and rebuilt.

The project is expected to cost about $72 million, with about $19 million reimbursable to the developer through tax-increment financing assistance, $4 million through Super TIF, and $4.5 million from a community improvement district tax.

The developer, Eastbourne Investments Ltd., anticipates demolition will take place no later than March 2009. Project completion is anticipated in June 2011.