Upscale KC shopping district in default; county may have to cover debt payments

Zona Rosa, a sprawling, upscale shopping and restaurant district in Kansas City that opened in 2004, has defaulted on its mortgage, and Platte County taxpayers may wind up having to foot the bill.

After spending down a previous letter of credit late last year, Zona Rosa failed to receive a new $500,000 letter of credit, triggering default.

The developer behind the project, Zona Rosa Development, made a deal in 2007 for the Platte County Commission and the Platte County Industrial Development Authority to support debt shortfalls if the project didn’t generate enough revenue on its own.

Cities and counties sometimes make such deals to help secure lower interest rates on bonds. But some Platte County officials have criticized the practice, saying it creates only downside for the county.

Zona Rosa’s occupancy rate has declined in recent years, to 60 percent in 2017 from 85.9 percent in 2014.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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