The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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April 16, 2014

TIF proposal filed for development of area at 44th Street and Range Line

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin’s Tax Increment Financing Commission will hold an informational meeting today on a proposal to establish a TIF district to pay for a wetlands project on property in the area of 44th Street and Range Line, where a developer wants to build a retail, office and hospitality district.

Hope Valley Development Group Inc., which is represented by developer and real estate agent Kevin Steele, has filed a request to establish a TIF district along with a Community Improvement District for a 134-acre area where a retail, restaurant, hotel and office district would be built.

Steele could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

The first area of development, according to the proposal on file with the city, is about 59 acres where current business and hotels are located and the land south of the Social Security Administration building and the Microtel Inn near the corner of 44th Street and Range Line Road.

A second phase that might be added to the TIF later is about 91 acres involving the Silver Creek Galleria shopping center and south and west to the Head Start campus.

There is a third phase identified as the current nine-acre site of the AT&T Call Center, though it might not be redeveloped soon and is currently subject to a special taxing district called an Enhanced Enterprise Zone.

According to the request, the area has failed to develop under its current owners, listed as the Kanan and Joseph families, because of the topography and blighted conditions of the land that includes a number of streams, wetlands and drainage areas. The proposed TIF would direct a portion of any new taxes generated by the development to repay the cost of cleaning up the land and establishing managed wetlands areas that would make some of the land useable.

Currently, only seven of the 134 acres could be used without dealing with the water drainage and channel issues, the proposal to the city states.

The plan calls for the first and second phases to become an urban conservation area for the construction of wildlife habitat, walking trails and recreational space.

Construction of the new Mercy Hospital will generate more traffic along 44th Street and Connecticut Avenue, which will make retail and professional office development of the land viable, according to the proposal. That will add revenue to the tax bases of Joplin, Newton County, the Joplin Special Road District and the Joplin School District, according to the report.

Tony Robyn, the city’s disaster recovery coordinator, said the U.S. Corps of Engineers has issued a special wetland permit for the development.

“Wetland mitigation is fairly unusual for a project this size,” Robyn said, and it is costly.

The developer has asked that the city manage the wetlands project. The city is researching what that entails and who would best manage that task, and will make a recommendation on whether it is the appropriate entity to do that, Robyn said.

Meeting time, place

THE TIF COMMISSION is to meet at 5:30 p.m. today on the fifth floor of City Hall, 602 S. Main St.


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