Topeka city council could make several big business decisions soon

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Topeka city council is ready to make a few decisions with a big impact on local business.

Votes at Tuesday's meeting could set the wheels in motion on an improvement project at 29th and Wanamaker.

Plus, members will set the date for a hearing on a separate plan for a shopping area down the road at 17th and Wanamaker.

The new owners of the former Villa West shopping center off 29th and Wanamaker are asking the city to help with their makeover plans.

If improvements end up bringing in more tax dollars after construction and renovations are complete, the city would pay back the difference in property taxes to help the company offset its building costs.

They're also asking the council to make the area a community improvement district, or CID.

That means a sales tax increase of one-percent. That extra percent would also be paid back to the company.

Six votes are required to establish the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district, and CID at Tuesday's meeting.

The shopping center at 17th and Wanamaker where the old K-Mart used to be could soon be getting a makeover as well.

Tuesday's Topeka city council agenda includes a resolution by city Manager Brent Trout to redevelop the area.

The project would include filling the old K-Mart with new stores.

One of those new tenants will be an Ulta - which is expected to open sometime this spring.

That development will be paid for EIG Wanamaker LLC which owns the shopping center.

This project is also asking to classify the area as a CID with the same one-percent sales tax increase.

City council will vote on the decision for the project at 29th street on Tuesday, but the K-Mart project still needs to be discussed.

The council will schedule another public hearing on April 9th - where the council will make their final decision on those tax changes.