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Green Light For Vitagraph Building


A $17 million Crossroads redevelopment plan received the green light from a City Council committee Wednesday.

The Finance and Audit Committee endorsed philanthropist Shirley Helzberg's proposal for the Vitagraph Film Exchange Building, which would house the Kansas City Symphony offices. The project includes a tax increment financing district to renovate the four-story 1930 building, add a two-story addition and a two-level 40 space parking garage.

Councilwoman Deb Hermann chairs the committee and listed reasons for unanimous support:"Two percent rate of return for the developer. Badly needed infrastructure that will not only help that project but will also help the whole area...ties very well into the performing arts and our improvements downtown. It's a very good project."

Last month, TIF commissioners deadlocked and sent the proposal to the council without a recommendation over objections from Jackson County and Kansas City School District officials which have been resolved.

The plan is expected to go before the full council next week. If approved, construction could begin by late summer with completion in spring 2010.

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Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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