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KANSAS CITY, NORTH, MO-After receiving approval for financing through a special tax incentive, developers are readying themselves to begin construction on one of the largest commercial real estate projects to be built in the Northland. The Council approved a deal that will finance about $15 million in improvements. Monies will come from city sales taxes and a unique five-eights of a cent sales tax levied for the development.

Called the Zona Rosa project, the development at the northwest corner of I-29 and Barry Road, is being compared to the Country Club Plaza. In accordance with the City’s FOCUS plan, the development will be pedestrian friendly, rather than the strip mall design that continues to be popular in the area.

Zona Rosa will consist of more than 200,000 sf of retail, office, restaurant and residential space on 35 acres. It is estimated that the project will take about 10 years to complete. Improvements needed to be made in the area are centered around traffic flow and congestion. To help ease the traffic issues, the city will move Prairie View Road to the west and extend it north and west to North Congress Ave. Barry Road will be widened, as will North Congress Ave. and a half-diamond interchage will be constructed at Missouri 152 and North Congress Ave.

The cvity and the developer, Bonnie Poteet, will share the costs. Construction will begin in the spring and is estimated to be finished in four years. Next spring, the city will issue nearly $10 million in bonds to pay for $7.5 million in road improvement costs. There is also the possibility of establishing a transportation development district, in which a sales tax can be imposed to benefit the area. In that case, nearly $6.6 million in bonds would be issued for road construction and nearly $3 million for amenities such as walkways, trails, landscaping and fountains.

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