Developer seeks tax incentives to turn vacant Taco Bell into drive-thru Chipotle

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MERRIAM, Kan. — After sitting vacant for the last six years, the former Taco Bell building on Shawnee Mission Parkway could soon be upgraded to a Chipotle. 

Monday the Merriam City Council will consider updating the I-35 Redevelopment District to include a redevelopment project at 8800 Shawnee Mission Parkway.

Proposed expansion of I-35 Redevelopment District

Developer Block and Company intends to purchase and demolish a portion of the former Taco Bell building to make way for a new Chipotle restaurant with a drive-thru. 

The developer estimates it will cost roughly $3.7 million to complete the project. Block is requesting the city allocate Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to help cover the cost of redeveloping a property, but the council will need to add the property to the redevelopment district before any tax incentives can be issued. 

Based on a  financial analysis done by Columbia Capital, the project qualifies for up to $1.5 million in TIF,  but the plan caps the use of TIF at $300,000. 

According to Columbia Capital and records from the Kansas Secretary of State, the developer had previously fallen out of good standing, but as of November 23, 2021, was in the process of being reinstated. 

Following council discussion Monday, the Merriam Planning Commission will review a project site plan for the proposed Chipotle location next month. The city council will also discuss hosting a public hearing on January 24, to consider the 8800 Shawnee Mission Parkway Redevelopment Plan. 

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