Green Park aldermen OK CID along part of Lindbergh Boulevard

By EVAN YOUNG

Patrons of new and future Green Park businesses along a section of South Lindbergh Boulevard eventually will pay an additional sales tax of up to 1 percent on their purchases to fund public infrastructure improvements in that area.

The Green Park Board of Aldermen voted unanimously last week to establish a community improvement district, or CID, comprised of businesses situated near the intersection of South Lindbergh Boulevard and Flori Drive.

No residents spoke last week during a public hearing on the proposed CID.

As part of the district, the new Lion’s Choice restaurant at 6032 S. Lindbergh Blvd., the expected Golden Corral restaurant at 6110 S. Lindbergh and a third, undetermined business on South Lindbergh will charge up to a 1-percent additional sales tax on purchases.

The additional tax revenue will reimburse the district for public infrastructure improvement costs “including but not limited to landscaping improvements to sidewalks, streets, traffic signs and signals, utilities drainage, water, storm and sewer systems and other site improvements …,” according to the agreement.

Some of those improvements, such as the new, signalized “T” intersection at Flori and south Lindbergh, already have been completed.

The district will put the sales tax into effect when Golden Corral opens its doors, Lion’s Choice Chief Executive Officer Marvin Gibbs said. The city still is waiting on a construction schedule for the restaurant, which will be built at the site of an old Lion’s Choice location.

Golden Corral franchise operators have said the restaurant would result in the immediate creation of more than 180 jobs upon opening with 80 to 100 of those new hires being retained after the first few months.

A 54th Street Bar and Grill initially was expected to be built next to Golden Corral, but the the company decided against coming to Green Park after learning that property owners Lion’s Choice would rather sell than lease the space.

The new Lion’s Choice location opened this spring.

Both the tax and the district will cease either in 20 years or when the district’s reimbursement reaches $988,000, said Lion’s Choice attorney Timmi Kloster of Armstrong Teasdale.

Kloster urged the board to approve the district because the redevelopment effort would “allow for new business in the community, improvement of transportation and traffic flow and enhance property values.”

By approving the ordinance, aldermen also appointed five members to the district’s initial Board of Directors, which will oversee the distribution of the additional sales tax revenue.

Board members include Gibbs; James Tobias, Lion’s Choice Restaurant Corp. president; Linda Stille, Lion’s Choice chief financial officer; David Bohler, engineer and vice president of Clayton Engineering; and Steve Henson, certified public accountant at Dave Mungenast Automotive Family.

Earlier in the meeting, aldermen also unanimously approved an initial funding agreement with QuikTrip Corp. that allows Green Park to explore the possibility of establishing a transportation development district, or TDD, to pay for developments near the site of a future QuikTrip gas station and convenience store on South Lindbergh Boulevard.

Under the agreement, QuikTrip Corp. will pay the city $20,000 to “consider the legality and appropriateness of use of certain public financing incentives under Missouri law including, without limitation, establishment of a ‘transportation development district’ …”

The agreement doesn’t bind the board to approving the district, which, unlike the CID is established by the circuit court, City Attorney Paul Rost said.

The city will use the $20,000 only for costs related to reviewing the TDD option and will return any unused funds to Quik-Trip Corp. by Dec. 31, according to the agreement.

QT, which will be built on property owned by the Bommarito Automotive Group, would use a TDD to pay for the modification of the traffic light at Lindbergh and Concord Drive from a three-way light to a four-way light and a realignment of Concord at Lindbergh with the new development.

Those improvements were mandated by the Missouri Department of Transportation, Rost said.