Sly James says about half of the downtown development projects started since 2013 received no incentives. Here’s the list

During last week’s State of the City address, Kansas City Mayor Sly James extolled the virtues of the under-construction downtown streetcar line, saying $1 billion worth of new investments were occurring within blocks of the streetcar since 2012.

He went on: “45 projects have begun construction since August of 2013, of which 23 will not receive incentives.”

James made a similar statement when he appeared before the Citizens Association board to request that political club’s endorsement for a second term as mayor.

The Pitch requested a list of those projects that James referenced, which we received courtesy of his spokesman, Michael Grimaldi.

On the list of companies not receiving incentives for development projects was Spencer Fane Britt & Browne. Last month, The Pitch reported that the Kansas City law firm was investing $5.5 million of is own money to renovate and expand its office space at 10th Street and Walnut. It was noteworthy because companies of Spencer Fane’s size and stature can, and often do, receive incentives and tax credits for such projects. And yet Spencer Fane was paying its own way.

Many of the other downtown projects not receiving incentives are significantly smaller than Spencer Fane’s projects. They include a parking lot at 1221 Charlotte, a pet store in the Crossroads, a drive-thru sandwich shop on Broadway, and a barbecue restaurant at 11th Street and Main.

Another project on the “no incentives” list is Visit KC’s (formerly the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association) relocation from 12th Street and Main to office space in the Power & Light District. While Visit KC’s move itself was not subsidized, its office space was and still is richly subsidized. 

Along similar lines, the penthouse addition to the View Condominiums was not specifically incentivized itself, but the project as a whole received a full 25-year tax abatement from the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority.

The General Services Administration’s move to downtown Kansas City from the Bannister Federal Complex also received no incentives, according to the mayor’s office. But moving 1,000 or so federal employees downtown has been in the works for years, long before the start of streetcar construction. (GSA regional administrator Jason Klumb has said publicly that the streetcar influenced the decision to move into Two Pershing Square.)

The projects that are receiving incentives are the type that normally receive public help: A hotel, new apartment in the River Market, the restoration of various dated building buildings, lofts at 16th Street and Grand.

Here’s the whole list:

Downtown projects since August 2013 receiving no incentives
• Adelphia Kansas City (2001 Grand, first floor)
• Artist work studio for Quercus LLC (1712 Oak)
• Barber & Sons parking lot (1221 Charlotte)
• Deel Live Work (1519 Oak)
• Streetcar vehicle maintenance facility (600 E. 3rd)
• GSA relocation (2300 Main)
• Jimmy John’s (923 Broadway)
• Kansas City Blue Cross Blue Shield (2301 Main)
• Visit KC (1321 Baltimore)
• Legoland Discover Center (2475 Grand)
• Lidia’s Restaurant (101 W. 22nd)
• Marriott Courtyard/Residence Inn (1577 Baltimore)
• New Life Church (1717 McGee)
• Plow Boys BBQ (1111 Main)
• River Market Antique Mall (115 W. 5th)
• Spectators Tavern & Eatery at Crown Center Sheraton (2345 McGee)
• Spencer Fane Britt & Browne (1000 Walnut)
• Sunsource Home (322 Southwest Boulevard)
• Tail Waggin’ Petstop Store (1818 Wyandotte)
• The Baltimore Club (1228 Baltimore)
• Residence for Julia Cole and Leigh Rosser (1710 Oak)
• Second penthouse addition at The View Condominiums (600 Admiral)
• Yard House (1300 Main)

Downtown projects since August 2013 receiving incentives
• MGB Lofts (1612 Grand)
• 1914 Main Apartments (1914 Main)
• Apex on Quality Hill (10th & Jefferson)
• Argyle Building (306 E. 12th)
• Butler Brothers Lofts (804 Broadway)
• Creamery Building (2100 Central)
• Crossroads Academy expansion (1011 Central)
• Hampton Inn/Gumbel Building (801 Walnut)
• Holiday Inn Express (417 E. 13th)
• Jack Stack (101 E. 22nd)
• Lead Bank (1801 Main)
• Power & Light North apartments (1300 Baltimore)
• River Market Apartments (228 W. 4th)
• Screenland Crossroads (1701 McGee)
• Summit on Quality Hill (1200 Washington)
• 1706 Baltimore (1706 Baltimore)
• The Boss & Swofford buildings at Roaster’s Block (717 Broadway)
• The Box Building (214 W. 21st)
• One Light Tower (50 E. 13th)
• Pershing Building (215 Pershing)
• Pickwick Building (901 McGee)

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