Developer says it needs additional $510K in public financing for Regency Park reskinning project

A rendering of the updated plan for the refacing of Regency Park.

Structural changes to strengthen the new facades from Regency Park shopping center will mean substantial cost increases for both private and public financing.

The developer of the center, at 93rd Street and Metcalf Avenue has asked the city for a $510,000 increase in the amount it will get from a special sales tax, bringing the reimbursement from $7.3 million to almost $7.9 million. A public hearing on the amended community improvement district is scheduled for Sept. 17.

Completed in 1990, the Regency Park center at 93rd and Metcalf has aging facilities that its owners say make it hard to attract tenants.

In addition, the city may make also increase the amount of assistance in the form of economic development revenue bonds designed to exempt some development-related expenses from sales tax. The city council’s Finance, Administration and Economic Development committee will also consider changes in that financing to increase the tax savings from $768,000 to $954,000.

The proposed 1 percent in additional sales tax to be charged in the district would not be changed, however.

The $30 million project by Mission Peak Capital will update the facades of stores in the center, which includes Natural Grocers and Micro Center. But council members got news in May that the developer hit a snag in the façade design.

New structural elements had to be added to the buildings to strengthen the attachment of the facades, said Bob Johnson, the Polsinelli lawyer representing the developer. That increased the cost of the project. The looks of the center will not change substantially, he said.

Regency Park was on the agendas of three city meetings this week. On Monday, the planning commission approved a new final development with the design changes. Some questions remained about the sidewalk connections within the center, though.

Councilmember Curt Skoog brought that up during the brief city council discussion of the public hearing date.

Johnson said the developer and staff are still considering whether replacing some islands in the Micro Center parking lot with a pedestrian path would reduce parking there. They are also pursuing an added sidewalk connection with Metcalf, he said.

Skoog said he would support the public hearing, but “for the additional money my vote will be contingent on some kind of significant pedestrian access.”

The overhaul is intended to put a more modern and welcoming face on the stores in the L-shaped center, which is about 82 percent occupied. There will be an addition free-standing building along Metcalf of about 5,000 square feet.

Work is expected to begin Nov. 1.