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hat in hand: milliner lofts developer’s abatement request granted

June 22, 2016
Rob Roberts
Kansas City Business Journal


The Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority board on Wednesday approved a 10-year, 100 percent property tax abatement for the residential conversion of the five-story historic building at 905 Broadway.

Andrew Bolton, a developer who’s been active in St. Louis and New Orleans, created 905 Broadway LLC to redevelop the largely vacant building as the Milliner Lofts. The $6.8 million project will include 26 market-rate apartments, 1,800 square feet of commercial space, 11 basement parking spaces, and tenant amenities including a rooftop deck and fitness center.

The development partnership, which purchased the property for $930,000 in August, will continue to make the current annual property tax payment of $14,860 on the property during the abatement term. In addition, following negotiations with the taxing jurisdictions that will forgo new revenue as a result of the abatement, the developer has agreed to increase those base tax payments by 2 percent annually in years five through 10.

During discussion of the abatement on Wednesday, LCRA board chairmanMichael Duffy asked why, if the property was so distressed as to require public support for redevelopment, it sold for nearly $1 million.

Bolton said the entity he acquired the building from sold it for a loss, having purchased it for $1.8 million.

The LCRA board also questioned the high cost of construction associated with the project. Bolton said the $4.3 million in hard costs budgeted for the project was based on hard numbers from his contractor. About 10 percent of that amount, he added, was added to provide the basement parking in order to satisfy lenders and take pressure off of the neighborhood parking situation.

Currently occupied by a ground-floor Subway sandwich shop, the structure slated to become the Milliner Lofts opened in 1902 as the Liebstradter Millinery Co. Building.

The developer will use nearly $2.5 million in state and historic tax credits to help finance the project.

Centric Projects, the Kansas City-based general contractor, is expected to begin construction this year and turn the building over for occupancy sometime in 2017. Other members of the development team include project architect KEM Studio and Rosin Preservation LLC.