The proposal to overhaul Kemper Arena took a major step forward on Thursday, when the Kansas City City Council voted to permit a key real estate sale.
Foutch Brothers is proposing to convert the arena into a two-floor multipurpose sports venue, which would be designed to host tournaments and other events. The venue, which is slated to be renamed Mosaic Arena when the project is complete, has already been added to the National Register of Historic Places designation–allowing the financing of this proposal to include certain tax credits–and tax abatements received approval earlier this month.
In order for the project to move forward, however, the city needed to agree to a real estate transaction with Foutch Brothers. It has voted to move forward with that sale, thus allowing other components of the project to fall into place. More from The Kansas City Star:
The Kansas City Council, by a 9-1 vote Thursday, allowed the city manager to execute a real estate sale of the facility to Foutch for $1. That allows Foutch to pursue about $8.3 million in historic tax credits and other financing for the project, estimated to cost up to $30 million.
“This will be a transformational project for Kansas City that will bring indoor amateur sports tournaments to Kansas City,” said Councilman Scott Taylor, who added that the deal will save the city more than $1 million per year in maintenance costs on the virtually mothballed arena.
The proposal is expected to bring new life to Kemper Arena, which opened in 1974 and hosted many of Kansas City’s indoor events and major performancess until the Sprint Center debuted in 2007. Construction on the renovation could begin in April.
Rendering courtesy Foutch Brothers.