Former Levitt-owned Crossroads buildings will get tax abatements

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Kansas City Business Journal by Steve Vockrodt

August 24, 2012

Kansas City’s Planned Industrial Expansion Authority extended a tax abatement district to take in three additional buildings in the Crossroads Arts District.

The expansion of the Stuart Hall Plan makes three buildings owned by Gary Hassenflu and Jordon Ringel eligible for standard PIEA abatement of 100 percent of increased property taxes for 10 years and a 50 percent abatement for the following 15 years.

Longtime Crossroads developer Tom Levitt had owned the buildings, along Central Street near the Freighthouse District. Levitt died in 2009.

Proposals for redeveloping the historic buildings are worth more than $20 million total.

Ringel, founder of DDEquity LLC in Dallas and co-founder of solar energy company Brightergy, bought the Pabst Building and the neighboring Pendergast Building at 21st and Central streets with real estate partner Adam Blake. Ringel has split off from Blake, whose interest primarily was in Brightergy; Ringel wanted to concentrate on real estate.

Ringel said he has leased half of the two-story, 15,000-square-foot Pendergast Building to an as-of-yet unnamed restaurant and bar concept. The rest is being offered for office space. Redevelopment is estimated to cost $3 million.

Ringel plans a $13 million redevelopment of the Pabst Building. He proposes office and multifamily uses for the four-story, 91,000-square-foot building.

Plans for the Pabst Building are on the back burner, he said, because of a lack of existing parking.

“If a user came to me, I could start poking around to acquire parking for it,” he said. “Until that happens, it’s a waiting game on the four-story building.”

Hassenflu’s Creamery Building, also at 21st and Central, faces a similar situation. Plans for the 21,000-square-foot building include 14 residential units and 2,100 square feet of office space that would include room for his real estate firm, Garrison Cos., which now has its headquarters in the River Market area.

He said he has received inquiries and is willing to change plans to allow for a tenant to use all the space for an office.

“I’ve got to design my project as it is right now,” he said. “I can always remain flexible enough to amend to another use.”

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