Kemper Arena redeveloper faces tough questions, but gets good news

The Planned Industrial Expansion Authority on Thursday approved one of the final pieces of the redevelopment of Kemper Arena as Mosaic Arena: public incentives.

By a 10-3 vote, the board approved an incentive package that includes a 10-year, 100 percent property tax abatement, followed by two years of 50 percent abatement. The abatements will cover the entire value of the arena and the improvements that will be made to it by developer Foutch Brothers LLC, which plans to convert the West Bottoms landmark into a two-level hub for youth and amateur sports. But Foutch Brothers has agreed to pay about $30,000 a year in property tax on the 10-acre site, which has been tax-exempt since the city developed the arena in 1974.

Board member Reginald Bassa’s motion for approval also called for PIEA issuance of industrial revenue bonds in the amount of $24 million, the estimated construction cost. The PIEA will bear no responsibility for repayment of the bonds, which will act as a vehicle for Foutch Brothers to receive a sales tax exemption on the purchase of building materials.

Steve Foutch, CEO of the Kansas City-based development firm, said he won’t know how much the property tax abatements are worth until the county establishes a valuation for Mosaic Arena. He said the sales tax exemption will cover about $1 million of the total Mosaic Arena development cost, which has risen to $30 million because of tenants requesting pricier amenities.

Read more: Kansas City Business Journal, Kansas City Star

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