DE SOTO, Kan. — Developers are moving quickly to create a new commerce center in western Johnson County. 

On Tuesday, the De Soto Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve a preliminary plat for the Flint Commerce Center. 

Earlier this month, the De Soto City Council approved a development agreement with Flint Development to build 4.7 million square feet of industrial space at 103rd Street and Edgerton Road.

Flint Commerce Center location.

Under the agreement, the city intends to issue up to $500 million in Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB) and approve a 10-year tax abatement to support the project. The commerce center will be built out in multiple phases. So far city has issued $100 million in bonds for the first phase of the development that includes the construction of a 1 million-square-foot speculative building. 

Now the developer is requesting approval of a preliminary plan to develop pad sites and tentatively construct six big box distribution buildings ranging from 300,000 square feet to 1.3 million square feet. 

Preliminary concept plan

Based on the development agreement, Flint will make several infrastructure improvements in the area.

The property is currently served by Rural Water District #7. In the event that RWD #7 can’t provide service, the city would service the property. If the city were to take over water services, it would cost roughly $2.33 million to build new water main extensions to the property.

To ensure there is enough revenue generated by water usage in the development to pay for the improvements, the developer will enter into a “take-or-pay” agreement. Flint would purchase or pay for a minimum amount of water per month for a 20-year period based on the debt service payment. 

Similar to the water main agreement, the city will enter into a “take-or-pay” agreement with Flint to fund up to $4.4 million in sewer improvements. 

The city agrees to form a benefit district for road improvements that Flint will pay for. The developer will spend up to $7 million to support the reconstruction of Edgerton Road from K-10 to 103rd Street. Per the agreement, all road improvements must be completed by December 2023. 

The proposed preliminary plan will now progress to the city council for final approval.