Foutch Brothers has the proper expertise and capital needed to carry out an extensive renovation of Kemper Arena, according to a report.
The Kansas City Star has obtained a report by SB Friedman Development Advisors that concludes that Foutch Brothers has the means to follow through on its proposed overhaul to Kemper Arena, which calls for a second floor to be added to the venue as it is converted into a center for sports tournaments and other events. This marks the latest bit of good news for Foutch Brothers, which has been advocating that the city transfer ownership of the venue for the redevelopment.
One of the biggest steps to this point was the procurement of a new naming rights agreement, as Mosaic Life Care will become the venue’s sponsor if the proposal comes to fruition. Kemper Arena was also granted National Register of Historic Places last fall, which opened possibilities for future tax credits.
The proposal still has some hurdles to clear, but city representatives are citing the financial report as a very positive step. More from The Kansas City Star:
Councilman Scott Taylor, chairman of the council’s Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee, said the report reassures the city that the long-awaited project can become a reality.
“That was an important step. It was a pretty thorough analysis by SB Freedman, which is an independent party,” Taylor said Friday. “It’s exactly what we needed to see, for this to move forward.”
Taylor said the city is eager to complete the transfer not just because the Foutch project is so positive for the community, but also because it will save the city about $1 million in maintenance costs on an arena that has languished ever since the Sprint Center opened in 2007.
Several more things have to happen before the final transfer can occur. The City Council still needs to approve a purchase and sale agreement, which Taylor said should be introduced soon. That would help the developer complete financing.
Foutch will also seek a tax abatement on the arena building, at a Planned Industrial Expansion Authority meeting expected to occur on Feb. 2. The developer is seeking a 10-year property tax abatement just on the building, but would start to pay taxes on the land.
Current projections call for the project to cost $32 million. If it does to come to fruition, it could be completed at some point in 2018.