Commissioners Reject TIF District For Bowllagio Project

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

UPDATE: Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sedgwick County Commissioners unanimously voted to reject the proposal for the Maize 54 redevelopment district project, anchored by the Bowllagio bowling and entertainment center, in West Wichita.

Commissioners voiced concerns regarding the financial numbers of the $79.8 million project at Kellogg and Maize Road.

"I'm concerned about the fact that a $1.5 million responsibility for the wall would stop what is supposed to be a $70-90 million investment," said Commissioner Dave Unruh.

The $1.5 million refers to investments already made by the developer to put a wall to help with drainage improvements. TIF revenues of $8.7 million were to be limited to drainage improvements and removal of properties from the floodplain.

"It's disappointing, obviously," said Tim Austin, representative for the developer. "We certainly invested a lot of time, energy, and effort in our preparations for making these presentations."

Several residents spoke out against the proposal, including Wichita bowling operators. They said Wichita is already well-served with the current number of bowling facilities.

Austin said the developer will re-evaluate options for the project and would likely have to downside the nearly $80 million project.

On Nov. 20, Wichita city council members approved, 4-3, to create a tax increment financing (TIF) district for Maize 54, LLC.

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

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