Brookridge developers get extension on bonds allowing them to claim sales tax exemptions

A rendering of the planned multi-use development on the Brookridge golf course site near 103rd and Antioch. File image.

Developers behind the massive Brookridge project near Interstate 435 and Antioch Road in Overland Park have asked for and received preliminary approval to extend a sales tax exemption on some construction costs.

A majority of the six members of the Overland Park city council’s Finance, Administration and Economic Development committee on Wednesday voted to extend by two years an expired resolution to issue economic development revenue bonds — a financing vehicle that allows developers to claim sales tax exemption on construction materials, furnishings and equipment once the building gets underway.

The resolution, which expired Dec. 2, will now be extended to Dec. 2, 2022.

Such extensions have become common for developers this year as they’ve faced economic headwinds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar extensions have been granted to other projects, said Joe Serrano, the city’s bond counsel.

But the Brookridge project may be the highest-profile development so far to receive such an extension.

The $2 billion, 200-acre project was intensely disliked by residential neighbors and took about five years from its inception before a development agreement on the financing package was reached one year ago.

In December 2019, the city council approved a number of tax incentives to help developer Chris Curtin build the first part of the mixed-use project, near the corner of 103rd Street and Antioch Road known as “The Village,” which includes office and retail space, more than 600 units of apartments and a proposed 200-room hotel.

The deal included tax increment financing, a special sales taxing district and the revenue bonds discussed at Wednesday’s meeting. The revenue bonds would save the developer an estimated $40.5 million in sales tax, about $5 million of which would be Overland Park sales tax.

On Wednesday, the committee approved the deadline extension 5-1 with very little discussion, noting that deadline extensions have not been out of the ordinary this year.

Only Councilmember Jim Kite voted no because he opposed the finance package a year ago and voting to extend it would be inconsistent, he said. Councilmembers voting for the extension were John Thompson, Chris Newlin, Logan Heley, Paul Lyons and Fred Spears.