Tax breaks for luxury towers spur redevelopment, and backlash

The developer of the One Hundred, a 36-story apartment tower under construction in the Central West End of St. Louis, is receiving an $11 million tax abatement. / Photo by Whitney Curtis / The New York Times

 

By Joe Gose | The New York Times

Twenty years ago, it was unimaginable that a new residential high-rise would ever adorn the modest skyline of downtown Kansas City, Mo. But in the last three years, two luxury apartment towers have opened, and a third is planned.

The buildings are part of a revitalization effort in the city’s core, but some officials are questioning whether tax abatements and other incentives given to the developer, Cordish Companies of Baltimore, are appropriate for residential projects that cater to the affluent.

“You can take incentives too far, and it does create viable pushback from the community,” said Terry Ward, who represents a local school district on Kansas City’s Tax Increment Financing Commission.

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