By Mallory Ragon
Dr. Craig Grider has received approval from the Lee’s Summit City Council for property tax abatement on a new office for his orthodontia practice downtown.
Grider plans to build a new 3,000 square foot clinic on the southwest corner of Third Street and Market Street. It will replace the old gas station that currently stands there.
Because the land is a blighted area within an urban renewal district, it could be a candidate for tax breaks for redeveloping that area through the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (LCRA). The LCRA had already reviewed the application and given it their approval.
Grider was represented at the October 10 regular session of the council by Christine Bushyhead, of MKL. The application was for $141,000 in tax abatement for the building’s development, with an additional $40,000 for complete renovation of the parking lot, for a total of $181,000.
Mark Dunning, director of codes administration, gave the presentation on behalf of the city.
The council had many questions about whether their role should be to grant such abatements to encourage development of the area—a priority for the city—or to discourage tax breaks for developing land they would like to see as a prime destination for businesses.
"It may not produce a whole lot of jobs," Councilmember Derek Holland observed, "but sometimes—in redevelopment—that’s not all what you’re just looking for is jobs. We’re also trying to rebuild the downtown area."
Grider has been in business for about ten years and currently employs four full-time people. He estimates that his practice would grow to having no more than seven full-time employees.
The council voted in favor of Grider’s application for tax abatement not to exceed $141,000 over ten years. Councilmembers Ed Cockrell, Bob Johnson, and Kathy Hofmann voted against.