STAR Final

An open house has been scheduled from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30 to provide details on the proposed final phase of development in Derby’s STAR bond district – to include a man-made lagoon, glamping site, aerial park and more.

The city of Derby is planning to host a community open house centered around the proposed final phase of development currently being considered for the STAR bond district. The open house will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at The Venue in Madison Avenue Central Park.

Both city staff and member businesses involved in the development plans – including Derby Destination Development’s Rick Worner and representatives of Imagine Resorts & Hotels – will be on hand to respond to questions and provide information.

As it stands, the proposed final phase would include a hotel, manmade lagoon and beachfront (both to be owned and operated by Imagine Resorts, which founded Kansas City’s Great Wolf Lodge), a glamorous camping site run by Kansas City-based business Suite Tea, an aerial park, apartment housing and pads for additional retail/restaurant development. The final phase would be developed on a 44-acre tract of land northeast of the Derby Target (north of Tall Tree Road).

With the open house intended to be a come-and-go event in a more relaxed setting, City Manager Kathy Sexton noted there will be no formal presentation, rather the proposals will be shown and discussed as individuals/groups arrive.

“The purpose is simply to provide another opportunity for interested residents to learn more about the project and voice their questions or concerns,” Sexton said.

Running concurrently with the City Tree Lighting, the open house is intended to be as convenient as possible to access for those wanting to attend both events.

Additionally, Sexton said the city has posted some frequently asked questions regarding the STAR bond’s proposed final phase to its website (derbyks.com/star). The city will also update the FAQs as details of the project evolve, in an effort to help with understanding of the project – something the open house also seeks to provide.

“Most cities in Kansas provide some type of financial incentives to assist certain businesses with construction or expansion, often partnering with state incentive programs,” Sexton said. “In Derby, we use very few tax incentive programs commonly provided in other communities (CID, TIF, IRB, etc.). The STAR bond program is our primary tool. Participating businesses add to the property tax base in their first year of operations, which means an excellent return on investment for the city, state and other governments that rely on property tax funding (schools, county, etc.).”

Exact costs to the city have come into question during discussion of the STAR bond final phase proposal, with Sexton reporting that the state has paid 98% ($17,450,993) of the STAR bond payments so far and the city has covered the other 2% ($404,007).

Following the open house, a public hearing to discuss approval of the STAR bond project’s proposed final phase is scheduled for Dec. 14.

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