The premise is that most economic development projects today are on significantly tighter timelines than in the past. If a company is bidding on a new contract, working on a new customer, or opening a new region, chances are, the company will require additional capacity. Many times, the company will not have time to wait for new construction.
That’s not always the case, but an existing building is generally preferred when we receive a request from a company considering expanding into Kansas. We haven’t had a lot of inventory lately, and the two buildings we have had (Tallgrass brewery and McCall’s) filled relatively quickly.
That’s why we proposed a speculative building incentive program a number of months ago. This program, copied from similar programs in other Kansas communities, would encourage private investment in a larger industrial building. As you may remember, if a developer builds at least 50,000 square feet of industrial with the idea of making at least 25,000 available in one contiguous space, they would be eligible for a five-year property tax abatement with an additional 50-percent available in years six through 10.
This makes the cost of investing in a speculative facility (prohibitive in most cases) more palatable.
We have had a developer come forward to propose a 112,000 square foot manufacturing building and will be seeking program benefits at the next commission meeting. After reviewing the plans, we believe it fits the intent of the program and we will be at the meeting to ask the commission to approve the application.
If you are interested in learning more about the project, you can review it here.
We appreciate the developers (Flint Hill Ventures, LLC) for their potential investment in the community. We have already started marketing this opportunity to potential new companies and believe very strongly that we will see new jobs come from this project.