Shawnee County OKs $100M in industrial revenue bonds for Cyrus Hotel, Wheatfield Village projects

In this file photo, a model is shown of the Cyrus Hotel, which is being built in the 900 block of S. Kansas Ave. Shawnee County commissioners voted Monday to issue industrial revenue bonds totaling $25.3 million for the project. (File photo/The Capital-Journal)

Shawnee County isn’t legally liable for any of the more than $100 million in industrial revenue bonds commissioners voted to issue Monday to help finance the Cyrus Hotel and Wheatfield Village developments, said county bond counsel Bob Perry.

 

The county acts solely as the conduit for issuing those bonds, which investors are buying, Perry told commissioners Bob Archer, Kevin Cook and Shelly Buhler.

The bonds are then paid off using revenues and rents brought in by the projects, Perry said. If either project defaults, that becomes an issue between the developers and the investors, he said.

Commissioners voted 3-0 to issue taxable IRBs in the amount of an estimated $25.3 million to enable Cody Foster’s Topeka Grand Real Estate LLC to create a development featuring the 109-room Cyrus Hotel in the 900 block of S. Kansas Avenue.

Monday’s vote was a follow-up to a public hearing commissioners held in September 2016 about potential issuance of the bonds, Perry said. Work is in progress to build the hotel, which is expected to be completed late next year.

The property involved is to be exempt from property taxes for 10 years, with that exemption anticipated to begin in 2019, Perry said.

Commissioners also voted 3-0 to issue taxable IRBs in the amount of an estimated $75 million to enable Jim Klausman and Floyd Eaton’s 29 Fairlawn LLC to create its proposed Wheatfield Village development on 14.7 acres at the northwest corner of S.W. 29th and Fairlawn Road.

The project is to include a Marriott hotel, an apartment complex, a nine-screen movie theater, a Johnny’s Tavern, a PT’s Coffee and a SPIN! Pizza.

Perry said no property tax exemption is being sought for the Wheatfield Village project, which will receive tax increment financing approved last month by Topeka’s governing body.

The developers asked that the IRBs be issued to enable them to avoid paying sales taxes on certain materials and equipment, Perry said.

Topeka city manager Brent Trout and councilman and Deputy Mayor Jeff Coen were present for Monday’s meeting but didn’t speak.

Commissioners on Monday also:

— Voted 3-0 to approve the purchase from multiple providers of 2018 insurance coverage for the county’s real and personal property in the amount of $802,439, up from $762,340 in 2017.

— Voted 3-0 to appoint Georgia Ransone as Silver Lake Township trustee to replace Greg Abbott, who resigned.

— Learned that corporate sponsorships are up significantly at the Kansas Expocentre, where attendance at last weekend’s second annual Wing Fling nearly doubled that of the previous year.

— Learned that county revenues through Nov. 30 were $101,410,823, compared to a budgeted amount of $101,317,708, while expenditures were $92,971,491, compared to a budgeted amount of $94,433,251.

— Spent 15 minutes meeting behind closed doors in executive session to hold a preliminary discussion about potential acquisition of unspecified property for the parks and recreation department.

Contact reporter Tim Hrenchir at (785) 295-1184 or @timhrenchir on Twitter.

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