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TIF Commission Deadlocks on Vitagraph Building

By Laura Spencer

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City's Tax Increment Financing or TIF Commission Wednesday deadlocked on a financing request to rehabilitate a building in the Crossroads Arts District near the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The TIF Commission deadlocked with a vote of five to five and made no recommendation on philanthropist Shirley Helzberg's tax break request for the Vitagraph Film Exchange Building, once used to distribute motion pictures at 17th and Wyandotte.

Helzberg's proposed $17 million plan includes restoring the Vitagraph Building and expanding it to house offices for the Kansas City Symphony and other tenants. The TIF proposal would reimburse $6.7 million of the budget to bury utility lines on the block and streetscaping.

Opponents objected to including the Webster House property, also renovated by Helzberg, in the West 17th Street TIP plan. They also objected the estimated costs of an 40 space 2 level parking garage near the building at nearly $2,300,000.

The application now goes to the Kansas City Council for a final decision. And the vote is expected within 90 days.

NOTE: The TIF Commission did endorse a $30.7 million plan for the Brywood Shopping Center on East 63rd Street, which includes expanding an existing grocery store, improving infrastructure and adding retail.

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