The upscale apartment complex planned for southeast Independence near Centerpoint Medical Center will get another look.
The City Council failed last week to approve the necessary rezoning for the project – slated for vacant land near the southeast corner of 39th Street and Jackson Drive – though it passed the $37.5 million in industrial bonds for Spanos Corporation, the project developer.
At the end of Monday's study session Mayor Eileen Weir made a motion to renew the rezoning bill at the next meeting Monday, citing additional information about the project. The motion was approved unanimously, though Council Members Curt Dougherty and Scott Roberson were absent.
Weir didn’t specify the new information, other than to say it didn't have to do with the bonds, which were already approved.
The council voted 3-3 on the rezoning – from single-family residential to high-density residential/planned unit development – and then 4-3 on the bonds. Council members Mike Huff, Tom Van Camp and Karen DeLuccie voted no in both cases, with Weir, Dougherty and John Perkins in favor. Roberson voted for the bonds but had recused himself from voting on the rezoning because of membership in Community of Christ Church.
The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Appointee/Employee Retirement Plan Trust owns the land in question.
DeLuccie said the city has enough rental properties and such a development wouldn't be a good use of industrial bonds.
Without a motion to renew by the council, the rezoning application couldn't be brought back for council consideration for a year.
Spanos Corporation, which has developed high-end apartment and residential complexes across the country, had hoped to build five buildings with 56 units apiece plus amenities, comparable to their other projects.
By total coincidence, Alex Spanos, who started the Spanos Corporation and owned the Los Angeles Chargers football team, died early Tuesday at the age of 95.
City officials and developer attorneys had stressed that Spanos would be required to cover the bond payments and the city would bear no risk – and thus no possibility of eating into the general fund like the Bass Pro Shops development did for several years with city-backed bonds.
In return the developer would receive 50 percent property tax abatement for 13 years and be waived on sales taxes – a total savings of about $3.4 million – to help make up costs the local market couldn't cover. The city could pull back the tax abatement if the developer went bankrupt or built different housing.
Officials estimate the city would still receive $274,000 in property taxes over the lifetime of the agreement.
ELECTRIC CARS: A council majority last week approved purchase of 10 electric cars from Cable Dahmer Chevrolet. The cars – 2018 Chevrolet Bolts – are year-end clearance models and cost $37,000 apiece. They will be used primarily by the Community Development Department, which has several aging vehicles needing replacement. Most other city departments – such as police, fire, water, parks and Power & Light – have funds in their budgets for vehicle repairs/replacements.
Purchases come from Power & Light, which would keep one of the cars, and the city would repay the utility's fund from the general fund (with slight interest) over the course of a few years for the other nine cars. The city budgeted $75,000 this year for fleet replacement, and City Manager Zach Walker said he plans to do the same in coming years.
The council had sent back two previous proposals back to the staff because they were bundled proposals with electric charging stations.
ATTORNEY RETIRING: Monday marked the final council meeting for longtime city attorney Dayla Bishop Swartz, who is retiring. The city has not named an immediate replacement.