2nd developer ends involvement with city of Eudora in redevelopment of old elementary school property
The city of Eudora will continue attempts to redevelop a former elementary school property on the community’s Kansas Highway 10 gateway after a second private developer pulled out of the project.
Eudora City Manager Barack Matite said the local developer Alcove Development has informed the city that it is no longer attempting to develop the 15-acre Nottingham property. In June 2018, the Eudora City Commission entered into an agreement with Alcove, which gave the Lawrence firm exclusive rights to market to potential tenants the site on Eudora’s Church Street just north of K-10.
The Eudora City Commission agreed in 2015 to buy the property for $850,000 from the Eudora school district. The property includes the closed Nottingham Elementary School, the school’s surrounding grounds and the district’s old football stadium.
Alcove was the second developer to work with the city in an attempt to develop the site.
In April 2016, the city entered into a predevelopment agreement with CBC Real Estate Group of Kansas City, Mo. The agreement, which gave CBC exclusive rights to market the property to retailers, was extended in March 2017. However, CBC never secured a commitment for an anchor store needed to make its redevelopment plan work.
Matite said Alcove also failed to secure an anchor for the site.
Eudora Mayor Tim Reazin said the razing of the old school was needed for safety and aesthetic reasons. It was also the first step toward any redevelopment of the property, a goal that he remains optimistic will be realized. The city learned a lot about marketing the site and made many contacts during its work the past three years with the two developers, which will benefit the city in developing the property, he said.
Reazin said additional progress was made in 2017 when the Eudora City Commission approved creation of a tax increment financing district for the property. The Eudora school district and Douglas County also approved participation in a Nottingham TIF (tax increment financing) district. The TIF district would allow the added property, sales and franchise taxes collected from the site’s redevelopment to be used to finance needed infrastructure improvements at the site. TIFs cannot be used to finance privately owned buildings.
The TIF district remains in place to aid future development that would provide more retail opportunities for Eudora residents and sales tax revenue for the city, Reazin said.
“The nice thing is the city still has control of that property,” he said of the city’s ownership of the Nottingham site. “My goal is to develop something that is an asset for the community for 20 or 30 years and not just a Band-Aid to get something in there.”