developer reach verbal deal on paymentss
Rabius offers to pay $133,000 per year to school
Weeks of negotiations between Cox Rabius Development
LLC, the developer of the proposed Shoppes at North Gate
at I-29 and Main Street in Platte City, and the Platte
County R-3 School District has led to an agreement in
principle between the entities.
According to Developer Dina Cox and Superintendent Dr.
Mark Harpst, they were able to reach an agreement that
would satisfy everyone involved.
We had final discussions and came to some final
numbers, said Harpst. We agreed late yesterday
(Thursday) on an amount of $133,000 a year. However, right
now its just numbers and nothing has been final
and nothing has been negotiated.
Cox stated that the $133,000 will be a capital contribution
to the school board for the life of the TIF (tax increment
financing). The contribution plus current property tax
revenue will equate to almost $2.8 million over 20 years.
What weve been offering was for them to take
advantage of a CID, stated Cox. They didnt
feel comfortable with that, so were doing it a different
way, but its essentially the same amount. They wont
be getting their funds through a CID, instead theyll
be getting their funds through a capital contribution.
It is still unclear how the funds would be acquired for
the annual payment to the school district.
According to Harpst, Cox Rabius pointed to several options
in their meetings.
They talked about several different things and
several possible revenue streams, but I dont want
to speak for them, said Harpst.
Platte City Administrator Keith Moody stated while nothing
has been confirmed with Cox Rabius, he believes the developer
may still implement a CID on the development if its
approved by the board of aldermen.
The CID could consist of a special sales tax of as much
as 1% on retail purchases made within the development.
I presume thats what they will do,
said Moody. I havent actually confirmed that
with Dina. They could use an additional property or sales
tax-theyve talked about using an additional sales
For several weeks, the school districts argument
in opposition to the TIF has revolved around a loss in
potential property tax revenue, as well as the establishment
of a precedent among other developers who will come into
the district in the future.
Now Harpst says this potential agreement with the developer
holds promise for the district.
We didnt (give up our property tax for the
next 23 years), said Harpst. This (capital
contribution) is based on the property tax and its
better than the property tax because its a guaranteed
First, with property tax theres no guarantee
whoevers paying property tax will pay it and second
if someone would come in and develop that area, you dont
know what would be developed, he continued.
As reported in previous issues of The Landmark, Harpst
said the school district would need to be guaranteed $150,000-$156,000
per year from the project to make it economically feasible
for the district.
After making that statement and potentially reaching
an agreement with Cox Rabius, Harpst told The Landmark
on Friday: Im pleased with the $133,000 a
year. We pushed hard to get where we were.
If the agreement comes about and we get that amount,
it will be an excellent deal for the school district and
it will accomplish what we set out to in the beginning,
said Harpst, "which is the equivalent amount of taxes
and we dont give away tax dollars through the TIF.
Instead were going to get a flat amount for 20 years.
Harpst said he doesnt believe the district crumbled
to the developer.
Anybody that looks at it that way is missing something.
I see it as nothing but a positive. Im just hopeful
that it all comes about. Its a long way from becoming
a done deal, he stated.
Attorneys from both sides will be working out the details
of a potential pact, Cox and Harpst both indicated.
Harpst feels like the district received exactly what
it had set out to do in the beginning.
We got what we wanted. We got the equivalent of
property tax and were outside the TIF, said
Harpst. Were not having anything TIFed and
were realizing the full revenue.
Harpst explained that R-3 currently has two other agreements
similar to the one that may be reached with Cox Rabius,
pointing to Harley-Davidson and Barry Towne.
Its business as usual as far as the way we
did other TIFs, he stated.
R-3 board member Trish Stinnett said she feels the district
was forced to make a decision because city officials were
determined to see this project happen.
I felt as though we were backed into a corner and
given an ultimatum, said Stinnett. I believe
regardless of the majority vote by the TIF Commission,
the City of Platte City supported the TIF and we risked
getting nothing for our schools. The choice we made was
what was best for our school district, not necessarily
what was best for the other entities. I felt a moral obligation
to do what was best for our students.
Fellow board member Mary Temperelli stated she also felt
the Shoppes at North Gate proposal may continue through
to development despite R-3s initial opposition.
I thought it was possible that things would possibly
proceed without any agreement being reached with us losing
out and I felt like we should reach an agreement while
we still had an opportunity to do that, said Temperelli.