Lenexa amends development agreement with Meritex to allow increase in TIF funds, time extension of project

Lenexa granted an extension of time and additional TIF reimbursement for Meritex Lenexa, a developer making improvements to a former strip mine in the city.

Lenexa city leaders have agreed to amend a development agreement to allow more public financing and extended time with Meritex Lenexa LLC, a developer making improvements to a former strip mine in the middle of the city.

The amendments to the project plan in the Ridgeview Mining Redevelopment Tax Increment Financing District allows an additional increase of private reimbursable TIF expenses by $252,000 and extends the time for substantial completion of the project from Dec. 31, 2019 to April 30, 2020.

The city approved establishment of the project plan in November 2018. The original plan contemplated the reclamation, remediation, demolition and excavation of the former strip mine located on site.

The city did not require a public hearing for the TIF increase and time extension because it was not considered to be a substantial change to the project plan, according to city documents. City staff noted that the intended purpose of the project plan remains the same.

The TIF increment generated from the Ridgeview Mining TIF District is being used to reimburse the developer for the TIF-eligible costs associated with the project improvements, according to city documents. Those eligible costs and terms of reimbursement to the developer for the public project improvements are lined out in the development agreement.

The project plan had originally identified private reimbursable TIF expenses of $1,515,000 and are now increased to $1,767,500.

City staff reported that the additional scope of the project “will increase the available surface acres in the Project Plan area that are ready for development.”

The TIF district was established over the project area in 1997. A feasibility study prepared by Chief Financial Officer Doug Robinson estimates a TIF increment of $23,814,139 over the 20-year term. The TIF increment as well as other available private revenues and funds are expected to be sufficient to pay for the eligible reimbursable expenses, according to city documents.

The TIF is pay-as-you-go, so reimbursement is only made to the extent TIF revenues are actually received by the city.

The Lenexa council voted 7-0 to approve the increase in TIF reimbursement. There was no public comment or discussion.