PLATTE CITY APPROVES LOGISTICS COMPLEX
Platte City officials have agreed to issue taxable industrial development revenue bonds of up to $186 million to finance the costs of a project east of Interstate 29 north of Hwy. 92.
As The Landmark first reported in its April 13 edition, there are 300 acres total involved in what is described as the “largest private sector investment and largest single development in Platte City’s history.
VanTrust Real Estate (VTRE) has plans to construct three industrial buildings on that site, which will be known as the Platte City Commerce Center. The project will be a multi-million square foot light industrial/logistics complex near the I-29 and Hwy. 92 interchange.
Platte City Board of Aldermen approved the issuance of the industrial revenue bonds at a meeting Tuesday, Aug. 23. The action approves all documents required for the full development of the three-phase project. The action approves the full bond amount but restricts the issuance to the amount needed for site work and site infrastructure and the 500,000 square foot phase one building.
The Platte City Commerce Center will cover 160 acres of property about a quarter mile east of I-29 on the north side of Hwy. 92. VanTrust Real Estate is planning to develop about two million square feet of light industrial/commercial space in three phases, with site development beginning late this year or early in 2023.
Indications are the development is planned to occur in phases for the next eight years, depending on market conditions, according to documents at City Hall.
The Chapter 100 bonds will assist VTRE in financing the project.
DJ Gehrt, city administrator for Platte City, explains that Chapter 100 financing is “a statutorily established economic development mechanism to provide incentives for light industrial, warehousing and similar projects.”
Gehrt said the process will result in the abatement of about $41 million in property taxes over the term of the agreement. He said the abatement percentage varies annually over the term of the agreement, resulting in an overall abatement of 84 percent. The project also provides about $4.6 million in sales tax exemption for construction materials.
Gehrt remarked that the project will result in nearly $4 of private investment for every $1 of economic development incentives.
In addition to the two million square feet of light industrial/warehousing space, the community will benefit from a significant extension of the city’s water mains and sewer collection lines.
Gehrt said the water and sewer extension will allow for the separate development of about 140 acres located immediately east of the Platte City Commerce Center. That 140 acres is planned to be residential development by David Barth, city officials have said. City documents describe the planned residential acreage as a buffer between the Platte City Commerce Center and existing residential subdivisions. The newly-rezoned residential acreage is adjacent to a subdivision known as Timber Creek, which sits just outside the city limits in unincorporated Platte County.
City officials justify the use of Chapter 100 abatement by pointing out the taxing districts impacted by the abatement received total property tax revenue of less than $800 in 2021–or about $16,200 over the term of the abatement–from the affected area.
Gehrt said that with the development, the property will generate about $9.9 million for the taxing districts in payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTS) over the term of the agreement.
Platte County R-3School District is calculated to receive about $6 million in PILOT payments over the life of the agreement, and the City of Platte City will receive about $1.29 million.
City officials say the agreements obligate the developer to complete water and sewer improvements within 18 months of board approval, complete phase one (a 500,000) square foot building) within 36 months of approval and complete all three phases (two million square feet) by December of 2030.
“Failure to complete any of these actions or phases relieves the city of the obligation to issue any additional Chapter 100 bonds but does not relieve the developer of the responsibility to continue lease payments for completed phases,” Gehrt said in a report to aldermen.
Vertical construction of at least the first of three VTRE buildings is expected in late 2023/early 2024. Construction of the remaining two industrial buildings is currently planned for 2025 and 2026, officials said in April, although these dates are subject to change.
THE FUTURE LOOK
OF HIGHWAY 92
The additional development in that area–including the VTRE project and the planned residential development by Barth– as well as the planned Hunt Midwest logistics park set to go in on the south side of Hwy. 92 east of I-29 (not in the city limits of Platte City) are helping spark the city as it works with developers, MoDOT, the Mid-America Regional Council and the Congressional delegation to identify potential funding sources for improvements to Hwy. 92. The long range plan is to make Hwy. 92 a four lane urban highway from I-29 to Bethel Road “as soon as possible,” Gehrt told The Landmark in April.
“The city would like to identify highway financing options and partners by the end of 2023 with potential construction in 2025/26. This is an extremely aggressive schedule with a lot of ‘hope’ involved in both funding participation and the highway improvement schedule,” Gehrt told The Landmark.
The future Hwy. 92 will be a four lane highway with signalized intersections near the Bank of Weston and at Windmill Drive, Gehrt said.
The draft preliminary plat information shows three access points onto Hwy. 92 for the industrial development.
•Drive 1: There is a right in/out drive located 565 feet east of a future signalized entrance near Bank of Weston, which is on the south side of Hwy. 92.
•Drive 2: A full access drive located across from the entrance to Platte City Self Storage and 1,180 feet east of drive one and 860 feet west of Windmill Drive.
•Drive 3: A full access drive located across from Windmill Drive at a future signalized intersection. City officials say a signal is not warranted for this project.
City officials say an 80 ft. right of way dedication included in this project anticipates future highway improvement with the majority of the new highway construction occurring on the north side of Hwy. 92 from I-29 to Timber Creek.