City turns down Eastgate CID, sets new policy discussion on development districts

The Wichita City Council turned down a request to establish a community improvement district today at Kellogg and Rock Road in a far-ranging discussion that set the stage for a renewed debate this summer on the economic development tool.

The council voted 3-3 with council member Paul Gray abstaining to defeat a motion by council member Sue Schlapp to approved a proposed community improvement district that would finance a third of $53 million in planned improvements to the Eastgate shopping center.

Tie votes legally constitute the defeat of a motion, city attorney Gary Rebensdorf said.

And then the council voted 4-2 with Gray abstaining against for a vague deferral, containing a commitment from the council to "hone in" on the definition of acceptable CID candidates during a June study.

Korb Maxwell, a spokesman for TMC Eastgate LLC, owners of Eastgate, was non-committal about the future of the CID request, saying owners Tom and Mike Boyd and Christian Ablah "will have to re-examine our options."

The Boyds and Ablah are planning to renovate the center they bought in November 2009.

The Eastgate CID would generate a maximum of $18.5 million from an additional 1 percent sales tax that will be collected by the center's tenants over 22 years if the CID were approved.