City Council to consider more TIF funding for downtown project

The Wichita City Council will consider an increase in tax increment funding this morning for a major downtown residential project.

The council will be asked to increase the city’s tax-increment financing commitment to the $66 million project, adding another $3.9 million to the city’s $8.6 million commitment for a $12.5 million total TIF package.

TIF districts divert future taxes on a property to help pay for improvements. In this case, the TIF proceeds would fund:

-- A 273-car automated parking garage, $8.675 million.

-- Acquisition of the project site, $3.825 million.

The additional TIF money is needed because rising interest rates created an almost $4 million funding gap in developer John McWilliams’ financing plan, according to city documents. The higher rates led to a smaller Housing and Urban Development loan for the project, according to city staff.

McWilliams’ Exchange Place plan includes 230 apartments in two vacant buildings and a new addition, and the construction of a 273-car automated parking structure.