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West Bottoms micro-village moves forward with new tax incentives

The pieces are in place for SomeraRoad to begin development on the $526 million overhaul of the West Bottoms thanks to a new tax incentive.

A sunlit building in West Bottoms.

The right development will make this neighborhood’s 100-year history shine. | Photo by @mikedayphotography

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The 22-acre micro-village planned for West Bottoms received a major tax incentive at the end of October, positioning developer SomeraRoad to begin phase one within the month.

Along with the tax abatement, we now know the project’s timeline, goals, and potential long-term impact.

💰 Money talk

Since 2022, SomeraRoad and the city have gone back and forth on some key details: total costs, tax incentives, and potential revenue. Here’s some of what we know, according to CityScene KC.

Cost:

  • $526 million in redevelopment costs
  • A special 20-year tax abatement for phases one and two
  • The city’s standard 15-year abatement for phases three through five

Potential revenue:

  • $62 million over 25 years in taxes — up from the jurisdiction’s current $3 million
  • $58 million in potential tax revenue allotted to updating West Bottoms’ century-old infrastructure, like sidewalks and sewers
Graphic of West Bottoms Redevelopment vicinity map

Here’s the area of the micro-village.

Photo via public records (SomeraRoad and HOK)

🏗️ Phase one

First will be the demolition of the Weld Wheel Building, aka the Ridenour-Baker Grocery Co. Building. The site will host ~300 units of multifamily housing and 10,000 sqft of commercial real estate.

Once the first wholesale grocery store west of the Mississippi, the historic building is beyond repair. Local non-profit Historic Kansas City endorsed SomeraRoad’s plans to demolish unsalvageable buildings and restore others where possible.

Phase one will continue until 2026, culminating in a public square at Union Depot — which longtime readers will know was the first Union Station.

🔮 Future phases

The whole project won’t be completed until 2038. In Billboard Hot 100 time, that’s “Bye Bye Bye” to “All About That Bass.”

The city plans to work on infrastructure simultaneously with SomeraRoad’s redevelopment, so much of West Bottoms could be redeveloped by the time the project is officially complete.

But with funding squared away (for now), all that stands between us and the new West Bottoms is a little patience.

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