STAR bonds approved for former Great Mall of the Great Plains site

With no discussion and after receiving no public comments, the Olathe City Council on Tuesday agreed to create a giant STAR bonds district around the former site of the Great Mall of the Great Plains.

Council members voted 4-0 to establish the 270.5-acre district around the former mall, which is being demolished after closing in 2015. Three council members were absent from the meeting.

STAR bonds allow developers to use local and state sales taxes generated by a redeveloped property to pay off half the debt on the project. However, the project must be a tourism development expected to draw visitors from at least 100 miles away.

City officials said there are still no definitive plans to redevelop the Great Mall site. Instead, they said they are creating the district in case it’s needed for an actual project later.

“At this point, it’s still very early on in the process,” said city spokesman Tim Danneberg. I would certainly temper expectations. But we are putting ourselves in a position to move forward should the appropriate project come forward.”

(Read more: Joco 913 News)