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Fairfax project siteThis architect's map shows the project site of a $40 million project to redevelop the former General Motors plant site in the Fairfax industrial area of Kansas City, Kan. The project was approved Thursday by the Unified Government Commission.
Fairfax project site
The development of a new $40 million Central Industrial Park in the Fairfax area of Kansas City, Kan., is expected to bring about 2,000 new jobs to Kansas City, Kan.
The Unified Government Commission approved the agreement Thursday with NorthPoint Development for the project at the site of a former General Motors auto assembly plant in the Fairfax industrial district of Kansas City, Kan.
The RACER Trust, which owns the 80-acre site in Fairfax, had previously reached a purchase agreement with NorthPoint, that was contingent on the commission’s approval of the development agreement.
The UG agenda stated that the development agreement will use industrial revenue bonds, a community improvement district and a transportation development district for the redevelopment of the site into 1 million square feet of new industrial space, with $40 million in total investment. With industrial revenue bonds, a rate of $1.60 per square foot will be the payment in lieu of taxes rate, and 75 percent of it would be abated for 10 years. The parcels within the project would have special assessments of $1.05 per square foot for 10 years in the community improvement district. A transportation development district would have a special assessment of 15 cents per building square foot for 10 years. The TDD money would go to a Fairfax Fund to be used for improvements.
"NorthPoint's planned Central Industrial Park represents a strong commitment to the community, with more than $40 million in capital investment and projections for 2,000 new jobs," RACER Trustee Elliott P. Laws said in a news release "I congratulate NorthPoint, the Unified Government and the people of the Kansas City metropolitan area who ultimately will benefit from the jobs and other economic opportunities created by this investment."
According to Chad Meyer, NorthPoint Development's chief operating officer, NorthPoint plans to begin preparatory work at the site in late summer and begin construction of the 1 million-square-foot Central Industrial Park in the fall. The first tenants should be operating by late summer or fall of 2014.
The Central Industrial Park is designed to accommodate three to eight manufacturing businesses. Job-creation projections are the same regardless of how many tenants occupy the development, which is expected to be fully built over a six- to 10-year period.
"Job creation continues to be one of the major goals of this governing body. The additional jobs created from the RACER project is another powerful testament to what can be achieved through private and public partnerships that help grow our local economy," Mayor Joe Reardon said in a news release. "This is a major accomplishment as we diversify employment opportunities throughout the city."
Under the development agreement with the Unified Government, NorthPoint must hit infrastructure investment and aboveground construction thresholds before accessing local tax incentives. By investing private capital, NorthPoint is ensuring the community does not have to provide funding for local infrastructure improvements, such as to roads, water and utility lines, to service the property.
According to the UG agenda, there is a prevailing wage agreement, as well as a minority, women and local business agreement for construction.
"The RACER Trust's redevelopment mission includes working with communities and the private sector to facilitate locally supported investment and job creation," said Bruce Rasher, redevelopment manager of the RACER Trust. "I'm pleased to say the sale to NorthPoint, and NorthPoint's development agreement with the Unified Government, is an excellent example of the positive outcomes that can be achieved when all parties are committed to achieving a shared goal."
The RACER Trust has closed 26 property transactions at former General Motors locations since the trust was established in March 2011. Total sales thus far have exceeded $26 million.
The RACER (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust was created to clean up and position for redevelopment properties and other facilities owned by the former General Motors Corp. before its 2009 bankruptcy. RACER is one of the largest holders of industrial property in the United States and is the largest environmental response and remediation trust in U.S. history. When the trust was formed, it owned properties at 89 locations in 14 states, principally in the Midwest and Northeast. The trust, which is independent, was created by a settlement agreement in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court between the U.S. Government, the 14 states where the former GM properties are located, and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, which owns land adjoining one of the properties in Upstate New York.
NorthPoint Development began as the management arm of Briarcliff Development, successfully leasing some of Kansas City's prestigious Class A office space in the Briarcliff Village neighborhood. In 2012, CEO Nathaniel Hagedorn formed NorthPoint Development as an independent company, bringing several of his developers to leverage their years of experience in service of a new vision. NorthPoint Development seeks to bring new, innovative commercial developments to the Northland and grow throughout the Kansas City Metro area.