Mission Farms West developers preparing to ask Overland Park for tax break on construction materials

A rendering of the planned Mission Farms West expansion.

Developers of the Mission Farms West are getting set to ask the Overland Park City Council for sales tax breaks on construction equipment and materials for high-end apartments near Mission Road and Interstate 435. A council committee last week set things in motion for what could become an $819,000 break on $9 million in sales tax the developer could pay on materials. Of that, $101,250 would come from city sales tax collections.

Mission Farms West is part of a long-running development that spills over from Leawood on the site of the former Saddle and Sirloin Club. The developer wants to build three four-story multi-family buildings containing 63 units on the northwest corner of that intersection.

Development lawyer Curt Petersen told the council’s Finance, Administration and Economic Development Committee that the sales tax breaks, which would come in the form of Economic Development Revenue Bonds, are not a new idea and have been contemplated for several years as plans took shape on the $27 million Mission Farms West project.

The area is contained in a Transportation Development District, which uses an extra sales tax to help pay for some of the development costs related to infrastructure. That money was intended primarily to build a bridge. But Petersen said that with subsequent changes in the retail landscape and unexpectedly high costs to build the bridge, the TDD money won’t be enough to cover the costs.

Councilmember Fred Spears asked what the city could expect to get out of the tax break. “What is in it for us to do this?” he said.

But Petersen said the developer has already made road improvements that will benefit the city in this and future projects on Mission Road.

“You have a developer who did everything the city wanted up front knowing that there was a long-term payment,” he said.

After receiving reassurance that the tax breaks jibe with city policy, the committee decided to move the plan forward for eventual council consideration.