Thursday, July 17, 2014

TKC READER REAX: TRAGIC DOWNTOWN KANSAS CITY P&L BUILDING SUBSIDY DEAL

We linked this one but let's revisit . . . Kansas City ram-through that'll be concluded today or even sooner: Committee advances Power & Light Building TIF plan — without debt guarantee

TKC READER REAX:

"Another day and another apartment project. The over-building of market rate apartments in Downtown continues with subsidies from City Hall. Who is going to pay???"

I'm pretty sure we all know that answer to that one . . .

18 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Thousands of apartment projects have gotten handouts from City Hall. But there has not been one announcement of a retail project for Downtown. There is something funny going on!

Anonymous said...

"...has not been one announcement of a retail project for Downtown."

What??? P&L is nothing but one large retail project, and we see how well that has turned out.

Anonymous said...

More rage! The FD could use these funds too!

Anonymous said...

The City is trying to get ahead of the "development catch-22" without much success. Successful retail requires a PERMENANT (i.e. 24-hour, not 9-to-5) residential base to draw from, and successful residential development requires vibrant and diverse retail development to support it. Other than the grocery store (which is too expensive), P&L really hasn't fulfilled this need, but the City seems to think that all they need are more residential units in order to kick-start P&L.

Anonymous said...

We subsidize apartments so we can lure downtown residents to go to an overpriced bar area that is costing the city millions. Now the city will have to subsidize retail. Next they will subsidize dentists, doctors and barbers so that the hipsters don't ever need to leave downtown. But maybe with the toy train they can get to the Plaza for these needs.

Anonymous said...

9:20am - you are right on target. All Downtown will have in the future are thousands of empty apartments and a streetcar nobody rides.

Anonymous said...

The City is trapping itself in a never ending cycle, where now that they have subsidized all these residential units, they will now have to subsidize the necessary retail to support it, lest the subsidized residential fail. At least they're no longer backing the bonds, which means they have less value on the market but which also means the City won't be left holding (as much) of the bag when property values fall due high vacancy rates.

Anonymous said...

It's a story so common it's becoming cliché. A early-20's couple decides to move downtown because it's "edgy" and "cool". They sign an expensive, year-long lease for an apt/loft downtown. Within a few months, they get tired of:

- the parking hassle. Unless you and all your friends and family both live and work downtown, you'll still need a car, and dealing with parking downtown is always a pain.

- the lack of support services. Driving 20 minutes to get to a grocery store you can afford, and even longer to get to a decent doctor or dentist, etc., sort of dispels that "center of it all" myth pretty quickly.

- the expensive rent. A couple of thousand a month didn't seem too bad, until they realize that they still have to live the "car" life. They also usually have a friend who has bought a MUCH larger house during this time, that's probably nicer than their apartment, and who's mortgage is hundreds less per month.

Once their lease is up, the couple usually finds a nice place a little farther out. They chalk up their year downtown to "had to try it once" and settle in someplace much more convenient and less expensive.

Anonymous said...

10:53 this was my experience living downtown. My apartment building went condo and I couldn't believe the price of $200,00 for this cheap ass constructed building. Could hear ever step and burp from upstairs neighborhood. Not one night of peace. Sirens, car alarms and daily break-ins. Worst of all, the booming car stereos day and night. Police do not care about the quality of life downtown.



City government is so corrupt and in bed with developers, build it and they will pay is the plan.

Anonymous said...

Thank God for section 8 money. We used to turn slums into thriving areas using urban renewal. Now in the interest of corporate America we take viable downtown territory and turn it into slums - right next to Sprint Center no less.

Anonymous said...

10:53am Very well said. Very few people in the rental loft building I live in stay longer than the first year.

Anonymous said...

And when the mostly empty commercial buildings are turned into "vertical neighborhoods" for millenial renters, where are the downtown jobs?
Should be planning for reverse commute buses to take people to the suburbs where are jobs are.
Subsidizing an upside-down economy. What a plan!

Anonymous said...

Before I bought my house I was thinking of living downtown or River Market. Fortunately, I had several friends who had already done the painful research. They all emphatically told me I would regret it if I bought downtown and suggested if I just had to go there to rent and assured me I would be counting the minutes until my lease was up very quickly. They all had horror stories same as here but the one with the worse stories was someone who lived very to close to P&L.

Anonymous said...

Somehow nary a word from the subsidy police about the enormous new subsidy for a shopping mall in lees summit next to 2 other subsidized shopping malls, or the 3 subsidized shopping malls in leawood and south op within a half mile if each other.

Just fairy tales about everybody leaving downtown. Fairy tales disproved pretty quickly by a quick perusal of us census data that shows that downtown is the fastest growing area of the metro and rapidly becoming one of the most densely populated.

You trolls are pitiful.

Anonymous said...

Moved downtown in 2008. Love it. Would never move back to the burbs (lived in NE JoCo for 15 years). I'm 42. I support the streetcar. Downtown has changed immensly since 08, and its changing for the better almost all the time.

Most of my neighbors feel the same way. Most of my old neighbors love downtown, Brookside and the Plaza. I'm certain they enjoy their neighborhood and stay for a reason, but none of them is as fearful, ignorant or unhinged about KCMO as most of this blog.

Anonymous said...

@5:54
When you start at zero population and you add to it, with now a grand total of downtown residents at 11,000, you have thousands of percentage increase. So now downtown has 11,000 out of 2.4 million residents in the metro.
And it's the greatest density in the metro, which appaently most people aren't looking for, which is easily seen by the amount of residential construction and purchasing of used homes throughout the area.
Breathless rah rah may seem exciting while preaching to the choir, but endless TIFs and other subsidized "projects" added to the P&L District and streetcar debt suck more money out of the KCMO general fund every year, which means fewer cops, even less street repair, flooded streets, and all the other things that most people count on local governments to provide.
Downtown KCMO is a sterile human-unfriendly environment that all the cheerleading and superficial changes aren't really going to do much about.
But if tha's your thing, have at it!

Anonymous said...

Bitching about TIF and subsidized projects while rah rahing bland suburban schlock is pretty unintentionally ironic.

The suburbs are built on subsidies, TIF, TDDs (that no one gets to vote on), and corporate welfare.

I'd much rather see those kinds of economic incentives used to (for once) how they are designed to be used: to reinvest, after decades of disinvestment, in the infrastructure and neighborhoods we already have.

And anyone who think downtown is steril and human-unfriendly, while championing suburban development practices of the last 60 years, doesn't know much about humans, history, sociology or the english language.

Anonymous said...

The only fear is bankrupting the City. If it can't happen or can't be built with out tax payer subsidies, then it is not very viable economically is it???