Lenexa approves special taxing district, grant to convert former Kohl’s into furniture store

Kohl's closed at the site near 95th and Monrovia in 2019. Photo credit Kyle Palmer.

Calling it a “win-win,” for the company and the city, the Lenexa City Council last week gave unanimous approval to a special taxing district and economic development grant that will help developers convert the former Kohl’s department store into Living Spaces, a furniture store company mostly active in western states.

  • Council members approved the two development incentives quickly and with little discussion.
  • Mayor Mike Boehm said the area will be “enhanced by having a big building not sitting empty, not to mention the property taxes they will pay. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Where exactly? The development agreement involves a little over 10 acres on the southwest corner of 95th Street and Monrovia Street. It had been occupied by Kohl’s until that store closed in 2019.

The details: Developer Lenexa 95 Partners LLC and Living Spaces LLC will get up to $7 million from a 1% sales tax within the area over the course of 22 years.

  • The revenue can be used for certain development costs for the project. The Kohl’s building to be redone is about 106,000 square feet.
  • The developer will also get a $300,000 economic development grant, in two installments. That grant comes from an economic development fund the city set up using origination fees that developers pay for Industrial Revenue Bonds. The grant depends upon Living Spaces being complete by the end of this year and continuing to operate about a year later.
  • The additional sales tax would begin in January, 2023, which is also when Living Spaces is scheduled to open.
  • The Lenexa location would be the first Living Spaces in the Kansas City metro.

Key quote: “I think it’s a great opportunity for Lenexa to have this type of retailer providing jobs, providing retail services and creating tax dollars,” said Councilmember Joe Karlin.