Bowllagio Developers Request Additional City Assistance

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wichita City council members voted, 5-0, to provide notice of consideration for a redevelopment district in West Wichita, and to provide a public hearing.

Maize 54, LLC plans to create a mixed use development, at the northeast corner of Maize Road and Kellogg, within a 100 year flood plain. The project is anchored by the Bowllagio Bowling and Family Entertainment Center and contains retail, hotel, restaurants and office space.

"Staff has worked incredibly hard to ensure that this opportunity allows public improvement to go forward that we've been facing for a long time," said council member Jeff Longwell.

In Sept. 2010, the City Council established a Community Improvement District (CID) for the development project. CID projects can be funded by a special retail sales tax of up to 2% on all retail sales within the district.

Some residents and business managers were upset to hear that developers are requesting additional assistance from the City through the use of tax increment financing (TIF).

"If they think it's such a great idea to build another bowling center, then take their own money, their own capital, and invest it to make it happen, just like every other business does in the city of Wichita," said Ray Baty, general manager for West Acres Bowling Center.

In 2010, developers also requested sales tax revenue bonds (STAR) for the project but later withdrew that request.

"I don't mind it going in 'cause something's got to go in there but I do not like the city subsidizing taxes for him to compete against somebody else," said Norman Roelfs, resident across the street from proposed project.

A public hearing is set for Nov. 20 to consider the redevelopment district.

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