Lawrence City Commission to review tax break provision for 5-story downtown condo project

Former City Commissioner Bob Schumm has filed plans to build a five-story building on a pair of vacant lots in the 800 block of Vermont Street.

At its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will consider adopting on second and final reading an incentives agreement for a mixed-use condominium project along Vermont Street in downtown Lawrence.

The developer, former City Commissioner Bob Schumm, requested a 10-year, 75 percent property tax rebate through the Neighborhood Revitalization Act, as well as a sales tax exemption on construction materials. The two incentives have a combined value of $1.3 million.

At its meeting Oct. 3, the commission voted, 3-2, to approve the tax incentives, with Mayor Leslie Soden and Commissioner Matthew Herbert voting against the request. At that time, the commission also directed city staff to change the wording of a provision that bans Schumm, who has said he may live in one of the condos, from collecting rebates related to any unit in the property he uses personally.

The provision now states, in part, that the Schumms and their affiliates are ineligible for a rebate on any unit they use personally, regardless of whether the unit is used as a primary or secondary residence and regardless of whether they own, lease or let the unit.