Redevelopment of Westwood Entercom acreage would bring more tax dollars to city

The property valuation of the Entercom acreage dropped significantly this year.
The property valuation of the Entercom acreage dropped significantly this year.

A redevelopment of the Entercom property in Westwood could result in an increase of tens of thousands of dollars annually in city property taxes.

A proposal has been made to redevelop the nearly eight-acre property, which currently houses radio transmission towers, into a senior living complex. That will require a change in the zoning text before an application can be filed with the city because Westwood currently has no provision for senior living or multi-family residential in its zoning codes.

An analysis of potential tax revenue presented to a joint session of the city council and the planning commission last week showed that a theoretical $20 million senior living complex would generate more than $50,000 per year in taxes based on the current Westwood tax rate. The analysis compared the valuations of seven existing area senior living complexes in Mission, Prairie Village and Overland Park all of which have varying degrees of density.

Of the seven, Claridge Court in Prairie Village had the highest valuation at nearly $32 million and is placed on less than five acres. The $32 million value would generate more than $81,000 in city property tax if it was in Westwood.

On the other end of the density spectrum, Benton House in Prairie Village is on almost the same size lot as the Entercom property, but has a much lower density and is valued at $5 million. It would generate about $13,000 per year in taxes if the same valued property was in Westwood.

The Entercom property is producing $7,357 in Westwood property tax this year, down from $15,809 last year. The basis for its valuation in 2014 was changed to an income approach from a cost approach, according to the county appraiser. Entercom is not believed to have filed a protest to lower the value. The total value of the land and the now vacant buildings dropped from $2.3 million to $1.2 million, but the drop was accounted for by the change in value of the buildings.

The Entercom lot is actually two parcels, but the second parcel of open land along Booth Street accounts for little tax revenue. Over the years, the Entercom property has accounted for one percent to 2.8 percent of the city’s tax base.

The analysis of nearby senior living property and values was prepared by Westwood City Clerk Fred Sherman and analyzed Cypress Springs, Mission Square, Bickford, Freedom Pointe, and Brighton Gardens in addition to Benton House and Claridge Court.