Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Three Plans for Truman Corners

By Seann McAnally
Lately, some major players in commercial real estate want to get in on the Truman Corners game. The city has received three formal proposals to redevelop the aging shopping center.
The Grandview Board of Aldermen on Aug. 23 unanimously approved a funding agreement with West Star Development. The commercial real estate developer submitted a tax increment financing proposal and redevelopment plan for Truman Corners on Aug. 29.
But that wasn’t the only TIF plan submitted that day – RED Development and UMB Bank in partnership with DESC Remainderman--the center’s current owner--submitted competing proposals. The board passed a funding agreement with RED almost identical to the West Star agreement in July. Both developers will submit $20,000 to the city for costs associated with evaluating the redevelopment proposals – legal consultants, blight studies, and so on.
That doesn’t mean any company will ultimately be approved for a deal, said Mayor Steve Dennis. But it does mean major commercial real estate developers think there is money to be made in Grandview.
“We now have multiple developers interested in Truman Corners, and that’s an enviable position to be in,” Dennis said.
All proposals include a strong focus on continuing the property as a shopping center. Kirk Decker, assistant city administrator, said city staff and consultants are currently evaluating the proposals, and it could be November before any public hearings on the issue. But any serious proposal would eventually have to go before the TIF Commission, Planning Commission and the Board of Aldermen and have numerous public hearings with community input, he added.
The board on Aug. 23 also passed an ordinance that hires Springsted, a consulting firm, to evaluate the proposals. The firm’s lead consultant on the project is Tom Kaleko, former city administrator of Gardner, Kan., and former assistant city administrator of Lenexa, Kan., and Blue Springs, Mo. who has a reputation for making public-private partnerships happen.
“This group will help us analyze and compare those... proposals,” said Alderman Jim Crain.
The city issued a request for proposals for redevelopment of the shopping center on July 1. While city officials had informal discussions with a number of companies, the RED, West Star and DESC proposals were the ones submitted by the request’s Aug. 29 deadline.
Earlier this year, the board formally revoked a TIF plan that had been in place for more than a decade, saying little had been done to increase the value of the center.

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