A city advisory committee Tuesday made no recommendation on tax incentives for the developers of a proposed $75 million apartment and retail development across the street from Kansas University's Memorial Stadium.
The development company — Chicago-based Here Kansas, LLC — wanted rebates in property and sales taxes that would have totaled $6.4 million over 12 years.
The committee staff recommended a $5.6 million incentive package over 10 years because the benefits to the city and county were less than required under guidelines of the Neighborhood Revitalization Act program.
A motion to approve the larger proposal before the Public Incentives Review Committee failed on a tie 4-4 vote. Earlier the staff proposal was also defeated.
So the next stop for the tax rebate question will be before the full City Commission. A date had not been set on when that would happen.
James Heffernan, a principal with HERE Kansas, LLC, pushed for the larger incentive project, saying that the project could be jeopardized without it.
"Giving us a haircut right now is a terminal problem," he said. He also said he felt the staff analysis underestimated the economic impact of the project, which would replace a deteriorating apartment complex with 237 high-dollar apartments.
A four-bedroom apartment would rent for more than $2,800 per month, while a one-bedroom would go for nearly $1,200 per month. Plus, the retail development, featuring restaurants, would pump in sales taxes to the local economy, Heffernan argued.
Several members of the committee agreed with Heffernan, saying that after the rebate period was over, all taxing units would receive much more in tax revenue than they currently do for the property.
But other members of the committee said they didn't want to deviate from the guidelines of the incentive program.
In the 4-4 tie, Jeremy Farmer, Bradley Burnside, Brian Iverson and Linda Jalenak voted for the higher rebate, while Shannon Kimball, Mike Gaughan, Mike Amyx, and Dennis "Boog" Highberger voted against it. Highberger said he couldn't support subsidizing such expensive rental property.
Earlier, Kimball and Gaughan supported the lower rebate, but they were out-voted by the rest of the committee.