Kansas City Council Committee Approves Slight Increase For 18th And Vine

Dec 1, 2016

Credit Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Council approved $7 million in funding in July for the historic 18th and Vine jazz district to stabilize historic buildings and acquire properties not under city control.

The Council’s finance committee met on Wednesday and approved $44,000 in additional funding. 

These funds are expected to cover federal and state tax liability on buildings owned by the Jazz District Redevelopment Corporation or JDRC.

In September, a placeholder for the estimated costs was about $450,000 when the city approved purchasing the JDRC properties. That number increased to $485,275, says the city's senior associate city attorney Galen Beaufort, after the JDRC's CPA took a closer look at the tax liability associated with the city's purchase. 

"That's a 10 percent increase over the original authorized monetary consideration, but only a 3.8 percent increase in the total purchase price, which again is a combination of cash dollars and debt relief," said Beaufort. 

The city plans to close on the properties in December. 

Councilman Jermaine Reed, who represents the city's 3rd district, told the committee members that there's been progress over the last few months. Construction is underway for the Kansas City MLB Urban Youth Academy at Parade Park, and some of the historic buildings have been shored up.

"I have been on a crusade, working extremely hard to try to get folks to really just invest into the district," said Reed, who added that retaining businesses in the area remains a struggle. 

"There's a lot of great news to report. I'm excited about the hard work the city staff has been doing," he said. "We've also seen some challenges over the last couple of months with 18th and Vine, with some of the stores that have closed, and retail down in the area. That also gives us a further opportunity to do a lot more." 

Reed plans to provide an update to the public and stakeholders on the status of 18th and Vine in the next few weeks.

Laura Spencer is an arts reporter at KCUR 89.3. You can reach her on Twitter @lauraspencer.