Sunday, June 20, 2010

What's in a TIF?

Last week, the city council approved a TIF (tax increment financing district) for an area (approximately 240 acres) in the vicinity of I-435, Johnson Drive and Shawnee Mission Parkway.

Basically, this was approved once before but the DeSoto USD 232 put a stop to it.

Now it has come up for reconsideation, and the city has reapproved it. It would appear that neither of the two school districts or any other taxing authority involved will object.

So, here is the $64, 000 question (remember that TV show?): What do the families that own this property intend to do with it?

At this stage, they do not have to say. Once plans are developed then their intentions will be known, as each project will need separate approval.

First and foremost, are they going to develop it themselves, or are they planning on selling it? A chunk of land that has been recently designated as TIF has got to be more valuable to a potential developer and could possibly show a nice profit for its current owners on resale. Heck, these three prominent Shawnee families didn't get that way by staying home and watching TV.

But, that is almost immaterial as they may choose to not sell the property but to develop it themselves. Either way, that again brings up the question: What will be done with it?

1. Will it be developed as housing subdivisions? Does Shawnee need more housing? Will Shawnee need more housing down the road?

2. Will it be some sort of mixed use like Zona Rosa on the Missouri side? Or what is being considered for the Metcalf corridor to replace Metcalf South?

3. Will it be office park? Warehousing? Light manufacturing?

4. Will it be destination shopping and entertainment (like Village West)?

5. Will it be mostly hospitality oriented (restaurant and hotels) to get some of the overflow from the events at Village West?

6. Will it be a combination of any or all of the above?

Time will tell.