Lenexa approves $9 million in TIF for Meritex redevelopment project in Ridgeview Mining District

The Meritex underground complex off of Ridgeview Road.

Lenexa has approved a fourth redevelopment project in the Ridgeview Mining TIF District. The developer, Meritex Lenexa Development I LLC, is eligible for about $4.26 million in tax increment financing reimbursement to cover private project costs.

Redevelopment Tax Increment Financing Project Plan 4 involves construction of two industrial buildings totaling about 240,000 square feet on 18 acres at the northwest corner of Britton and 99th streets. Project construction also includes related infrastructure such as roads, parking, sidewalks and landscape work.

The TIF increment generated from the district will be used to reimburse the developer for its TIF-eligible costs associated with the private project improvements.

Mayor Michael Boehm cited benefits of TIF projects and public financing to boost development of the Ridgeview Mining District.

The project is eligible for reimbursement of up to $4.26 million in private improvements and up to $5 million in public improvements. Reimbursement is set up on a “pay-as-you-go” basis, so reimbursement is only made to the extent TIF revenues are received by the city.

The TIF project term spans 20 years, during which Lenexa would be entitled to receive the balance of the TIF increment from the project plan 4 area that is not allocated to the developer for reimbursement of the city’s public TIF-eligible costs.

The Lenexa council on April 16 voted 7-0 to approve the TIF project and related disposition and development agreement. Councilmember Dan Roh was absent. There was no comment during the public hearing prior to the vote.

Mayor Michael Boehm said the mining districts are challenging to develop, so TIF funds will spur this project forward, thus putting the developed property on the tax rolls.

“It’s really impressive what Meritex has done out there,” Boehm said at the council meeting, citing the developer’s three other completed projects on the site. “And you all benefit because of lots of taxes coming in off a piece of property that probably would have never developed without the assistance from the public.”

Public TIF-reimbursable costs include public street improvements within the district, such as assessments, costs for right-of-way acquisition, asphalt pavement, curb and gutter, sidewalk, storm drainage, street lighting and landscaping, as well as infrastructure improvements related to the city’s Ridgeview Road improvement project, sanitary sewer extensions and public park improvements within the district.

Lenexa established the original district in June 1997 and amended the district in 2010 to include more than 960 surface and subsurface acres.

To keep up its end of the TIF agreement, the developer must ensure the project is mostly complete by Dec. 31, 2020. And, because the project is using public tax dollars, the developer is also required to be a member of the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce, contribute to the Lenexa Foundation and sponsor at least one city event each year.