Council hears proposal on CID deals that would raise taxes, fund major improvements at Village and Corinth

LANE4 Property Group president Owen Buckley discussed the company's development plans for the Village Shops and Corinth Square if a CID is approved by the council.

The Village Shops and Corinth Square could very well be in line for a major facelift.

After months of negotiation, Prairie Village city staff and representatives of LANE4 Property Group last night presented the City Council with the details of two proposed Community Improvement District (CID) deals that could lead to major infrastructure improvements at both shopping centers.

If approved by a majority of the Council at the its next meeting on September 20, the CIDs would imposed a 1 percent tax hike on retailers at the shopping centers for 22 years, raising the sales tax rate from 8.525 to 9.525 percent. Proceeds from the new tax would go to fund renovations and new construction at the centers, including a “signature project” at each location.

“These centers have so much potential, and they are in such a great area, it’s just fun to get to work on them,” said Owen Buckley, president of LANE4, which bought both the Village and Corinth from Highwoods Property Group in 2009. “We’ve seen that a mix with a lot of unique, locally-owned stores has been a success here for decades, and we want to make sure it can keep being a success for decades to come.”

Buckley told the council that the improvements the CID would fund would help keep the centers competitive against other shopping centers in the area, like Brookside and Town Center.

At the Village Shops, the signature project would be the renovation of Mission Lane, including the addition of new diagonal parking, sidewalks, landscaping and street lights designed to make the street more pedestrian friendly. In the initial iteration of the proposal presented to the council, the signature project at Corinth Square could have been any one of five projects: renovations of the former Tippin’s site; the Johnny’s Tavern site; the former Bank of America site; the Arby’s site; or improvements to the facades of the center’s two main buildings.

While many of the council members indicated general support for the initiatives, several did speak up and say they felt the guidelines for selecting a signature project in the Corinth CID were too vague — with several council members indicating a strong preference for the redevelopment of the former Tippin’s site as the signature project for Corinth.

“I have residents ask me every week, ‘What is going to happen with Tippin’s?'” said council member Laura Wassmer, Ward 4.

LANE4 representatives agreed to revisit the Corinth signature project before the council took the proposal up on a vote, and will be meeting with members of the city’s negotiating committee to revise the proposal in the coming weeks.

City administrator Quinn Bennion and LANE4 vice president Jeff Berg told the council that they had received letters of support for the initiative from several Village and Corinth businesses, including BRGR, Bruce Smith Drugs, The Better Cheddar, Brookside Optical, Rimann’s Liquors, the Toon Shoop and the Village Florist.