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KANSAS CITY, MO-A $90.5-million mixed-use project, with a major retail component, has been given new life by the City Council. The council has agreed to provide $20.5 million to help move along Citadel Plaza, a project which includes a 307,000-square-foot retail center, to be developed by Community Development Corp. of Kansas City. The city’s money will help pay for land acquisition and site preparation, but a stipulation was added that CDC hire RED Development as a consultant on the project.

The project also is to reportedly include 35,000 square feet of office space. A plan on the Web site of JSA Architects Planning Engineering Design, which claims it is a master architect for the project, also included residential units, though the company initially filed its press release for the project in January 2005. A CDC representative could not be reached for comment. Construction could reportedly start by July.

There has been some tension between the council and CDC president William Threatt Jr., who reportedly owes taxes on other projects and has lawsuits pending for the Citadel site, located between Brooklyn and Prospect avenues and 59th and 63rd streets. Also, the city backed down on plans to help finance the project with bond issues for $43.7 million.

However, city officials, including councilman Terry Riley, say they are eager to get development going in the area, in part to provide retail for the nearby Research Medical Center. The center reportedly had the rights to the Citadel development until it sold them to CDC. “The area has had not much development, and has seen only two new grocery stores in 40 years. This will bring a new store, and other economic opportunities to a seriously blighted area. Our studies show that this site should generate a lot of traffic,” Riley tells GlobeSt.com. He has reportedly said that he has an interested grocer to anchor the site, but did not tell GlobeSt.com the name of the company.

He says he proposed RED’s involvement as a means to calm other councilmember’s fears. “The company has a very diverse background as it relates to retail development, and a great track record getting projects done,” Riley says.

For its part, RED has agreed to contract with CDC as a consultant, but will not be a partner in the Citadel project. “I know that they were stalled out and came to one of our principals, Dan West, and asked him for advice,” a RED spokesman tells GlobeSt.com. “I know we’ve said we’re not interested in investing in the project, but at the very least our knowledge of the city and the real estate market could help.” He declined to name the fee that RED will get for its services.

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