InterContinental Kansas City files petition to establish a community improvement district

KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  A luxury hotel along Country Club Plaza wants to be declared blighted.

InterContinental Kansas City says it needs millions of dollars to help pay for repairs, and they plan to ask city council for the request Wednesday.

InterContinental hotel markets itself as a luxury hotel on the plaza, but a petition to establish a community improvement district shows a different story. According to the petition, the hotel needs $16-million to improve guest rooms, the parking garage and entrance way, and the restaurant in the hotel.

The community improvement district and sales tax would only apply to anyone staying or visiting the hotel,not the general population and would offput a portion of the cost to make the repairs.

City councilman Quinton Lucas says community improvement districts are a growing trend throughout the metro and can be a painless way to apply a tax. He says they plan to have a conversation Wednesday about the definition of blight and if the Plaza is the place they want to use it.

"If we make a blight designation here, just think what in Kansas City is not blighted," Lucas said. "So that is the thing. I think we need to think about. Do we want to actually allow the rule to expand to cover everything in Kansas City and everything in Missouri? And that could be the trouble here."

Quinton says he doesn't expect the issue to run into trouble.

To use the public sales tax for private improvements there has to be a blight finding.

The request is expected to go before the city councils planning, zoning and economic development committee Wednesday. It may be voted on by the full city council as early as Thursday.