Plans are now being divulged for a large-scale development at 24th and Industrial.
Kansas City developer Spencer Thomson is announcing plans to move forward with his option on the so-called Peak property after filing the necessary paperwork with the city.
Thomson's goals are to bring a home improvement store and/or a grocery to the intersection.
Thomson is not announcing potential tenants at this stage, saying his group is in discussions with several home improvement and grocery chains. He anticipates sit-down chain restaurants, a gas station and a small eatery could also be involved in the 40-acre development. Thomson says the investment will be around $44 million and could create close to 450 jobs.
The city has to approve specialty funding methods and any changes in zoning or comprehensive plans for the area.
Thomson has requested approval of nearly $9 million in tax increment financing, with approximately $6 million coming from property tax and the remainder in sales taxes. TIF results in property being blighted before valuations increase and part of the new tax revenue helps to fund the development. Thomson says the property is the most attractive Emporia has to offer for development, but there are some notable challenges.
Thomson says approval of TIF funding would help pay for property improvements, so potential retailers would not see any tax breaks if they sign on for the development.
Transportation development districts, or TDDs, will not be used. Those involve special assessments and a sales tax to fund roads, parking lots or similar infrastructure, but Thomson says many businesses no longer want to be part of a TDD project.
The next step is an application review, and Regional Development Association President Kent Heermann says that step is underway.
Thomson is planning to meet formally with the Regional Development Association and hold a public forum in mid-February. The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission is anticipating a review for their meeting Feb. 25. No time has been scheduled before city commissioners at this time.