Symphony Booster Helzberg Charms TIF Critics

By DAVID MARTIN

Philanthropist Shirley Helzberg knows how to win friends and influence people. Two critics of the lavish deployment of economic incentives came to City Hall this morning to support her plan to use tax-increment financing (TIF) to fix up a new headquarters for the Kansas City Symphony.

Helzberg wants to move the symphony into the old Vitagraph Building in the Crossroads. Helzberg and architect Jay Tomlinson talked about their plans for the building and other parcels along 17th Street at the Finance and Audit Committee meeting this morning.

Some usual suspects, such as developer and Crossroads Community Association President Shaul Jolles, spoke in favor of the plan. Even more encouraging for Helzberg, people who usually criticize TIF think her proposal has merit.

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