Fairway approves tax district for new senior apartment complex

Business

FAIRWAY, Kan. — Developers are one step closer to redeveloping vacant office buildings in the Fairway Office Park into a new apartment complex. 

The Fairway City Council voted 6-2 in favor of creating a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district at 4210 Shawnee Mission Parkway to assist in the construction of a new housing complex for active seniors

Map of TIF district

During a public hearing Monday, Jim Poplinger told the council the city shouldn’t approve the tax district because he doesn’t feel the property owners would be paying their fair share when it comes to maintaining public infrastructure. 

“The way I see it, it’s nothing but corporate welfare. The dollars that should be paid to support municipal services, fire district services, county services are instead being redirected to improve private property and produce profits for the property owner. I don’t believe that is proper,” Poplinger said. 

Skip Hensler said he feels because the owner has not kept up with maintenance of the property up until this point, establishing a new tax district would not be appropriate. 

“I think Fairway ought to really hold tight and figure out their marketability for this property. It’s a great asset. It’s got great potential,” Hensler said. 

Once the project is complete, the five-story, 280,0-square-foot building would feature 221 units that range from studios to two-bedroom apartments.

The city has not yet entered into an official TIF agreement with the developer, and a specific dollar amount for the tax benefit has not been finalized. 

“I think there is no question that it [the property] has been abused and ignored, but by ignoring the possibility of a TIF district, and I say district rather than the TIF itself, that we have to keep an open mind. At the end of the day we want to know what is best for Fairway,” Councilmember Joseph Levin said. 

“It may not be this particular project, but eventually we are going to have to repair this property and do something with it. The district at least facilitates that, but not necessarily guarantees it.

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