From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Oct. 17, 1988:
It was announced today that the Chelsea Group was planning to ask the City of Lawrence to issue industrial revenue bonds to finance construction of the planned riverfront mall. The developers were seeking the IRBs in order to guarantee a set property tax rate of $120,000 annually. Under new reappraisal formulas and new tax classifications coming up in the next year, property taxes on downtown buildings were expected to begin increasing dramatically, and Chelsea Group officials had been "shocked by the possibility of what their taxes would be" under the new formula, according to City Manager Buford Watson. In issuing IRBs, the city was permitted to grant an abatement of property taxes for up to 10 years. Under a tentative agreement still being worked out, the developers in this case would not receive a full abatement but would pay an annual assessment of $120,000, which Watson said would be equal to just less than the 50 percent abatement that the city had generally granted in the past. Watson added that the city did not usually grant IRBs to retail projects, but that the policy did allow for IRBs to be issued for any project benefiting the city in the downtown sector.