The Prairie Village City Council on Monday took the first step toward the creation of the Tax Increment Financing district that would serve as the financial foundation of the proposal to turn nearly 90 acres of the Meadowbrook Country Club site into a public park.
The council voted unanimously to set a public hearing on the creation of the district at the its Sept. 8 meeting. Attorney Gary Anderson noted that this was just the first move in an extensive process, and that the city had a number of opportunities to examine and revise the TIF proposal.
“This is the first step in a multitude of steps that will occur in this process,” he said.
The proposed district would include not only the site of the Meadowbrook project — the parkland as well as the planned housing units, senior living community and inn — but also the commercial office buildings that border Meadowbrook to the south. Prairie Village City Administrator Quinn Bennion said the inclusion of those parcels in the TIF district had been part of the city’s plan from the inception of the project. The redevelopment of those aging office buildings had been identified as a priority in Village Vision, the comprehensive plan adopted by the city in 2009.
Though the city has not received any inquiries about the redeveloped of the 95th Street office properties, Bennion said, establishing the TIF district including those properties now would offer a significant advantage. While the amount of property taxes those building owners would pay would not be affected, the city would begin to accrue TIF funds that could be applied to a redevelopment project in the future.
Mayor Laura Wassmer noted to the council on Monday that the city’s negotiation team had met with the developers from VanTrust Real Estate twice regarding the creation of the developer agreement that spells out the specifics of all parties involved in the park creation.