Carrie Rengers

Bill Warren on IRBs: ‘Why not pay it off?’

An artist’s rendering of the west-side IMAX theater around the time that Bill Warren applied for industrial revenue bonds to build it in 2010.
An artist’s rendering of the west-side IMAX theater around the time that Bill Warren applied for industrial revenue bonds to build it in 2010. Courtesy illustration

There’s an item on the planning agenda for next Tuesday’s City Council meeting related to the industrial revenue bonds at Bill Warren’s west-side theater near 21st and Tyler.

“We’re just paying off the bonds,” he says.

Warren received $16 million in IRBs to build the IMAX theater next to his west-side Warren Theatre in 2010.

There’s about $9 million left for him to pay, which he has several more years available to do.

“It makes sense to pay it off,” Warren says. “We’ve got the money on hand to do it, so why not pay it off?”

He says there’s a legal mechanism for him to receive permission to pay off the bonds.

With IRBs that allow tax abatement, the city technically owns the property where the bonds are until they’re paid. Warren has to pay $1,000 to buy back the property, which he’s done, according to the agenda.

“It’s pretty routine,” he says.

Warren says he regularly refinances loans or makes other updated financial arrangements related to his theaters.

“That’s kind of standard business procedure.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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