An article has come out today in the KC Business Journal talking about the redevelopment of the 3 Trails area, that includes the construction of the Wizards soccer specific stadium. Unfortunately, it's not good news. Due to the increase in construction costs recently, Lane4, OnGoal, and the other redevelopers are having to up their request for state tax credits from $10 million to $30 million. It was originally thought that the only thing left was the approval of the Department of Economic Development (DED) to release the funding. Now that shows not to be the case, as the director of that department, Gregory Steinhoff is also on the Missouri Development Finance Board, meaning that the DED won't approve their end until this is sorted out. The board will meet on the 16th of September.
While there is confidence from the lawyer representing the developers that this will pass, this is still not a good sign in today's economy, when you have to ask for more money. It's also not a good sign for the entire area as a whole, because as Robb Heineman says in the article, a long delay or denial of the funds could kill the project, leaving the area again to remain undeveloped. No development there will just continue to send the area even further down than it is already going. My understanding of the mall itself, is that it is basically beyond repair at this point. Bobcat's have been inside tearing out anything and everything that people can tear out. All the copper is basically gone, the aluminum escalator stairs are basically all gone as well. From news reports, there are people living in the mall, there's no way even Richard Tolbert could say the mall could be brought back successfully now.
Should the board not approve the funding, the Wizards will go back to searching for a site, likely on the Kansas side, in the suburbs (Olathe possibly).
And it didn't take long for the Wizards to have a report out in response to the article in the Business Journal. Bob Rusert from MLSnet has an article up today that includes quotes from Greg Cotton in regards to the stadium situation, Cotton, general counsel for the Wizards says the "snag" isn't as big as the report makes it seem to be. The article certainly came out in a timely manor, as the tone of the article helps to calm some people who were worried after reading the KC Business Journal article.