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H&R Block is moving downtown!!!!

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This was expected but is probably the biggest news to hit KC in a decade!

From Kansas City Business Journal:



Block picks Downtown for $120M HQ

Jim Davis

Staff Writer

H&R Block Inc. announced plans Thursday to build a 500,000-square-foot headquarters at 13th and Main streets in Kansas City, amid a proposed downtown entertainment district.

The $120 million building is to open in late 2006. A 250,000-square-foot expansion is tentatively planned for 2013.

Mark Ernst, Block's CEO and chairman, hailed the "stake in the ground" his company will make in Downtown.

"By locating within the entertainment district, we will have the opportunity to attract and retain the best and the brightest employees."

Andi Udris, CEO of the Economic Development Corp. of Kansas City, said he expects the seven-block entertainment district to open in the summer of 2006. Property acquisition and demolition will start in the spring, and construction will start in fall, Udris said.

The Kansas City Council considered plans Thursday for the city to provide $150 million for the $400 million project. The remaining $130 million is to come from The Cordish Co., an acclaimed urban entertainment developer, and district tenants.

Requests for tax abatements and other public incentives will be made later.

Block's commitment to come Downtown caps a site search that began in November 2002. The tax preparation and financial services company (NYSE: HRB) ranks No. 2 on The Business Journal's list of the Top 25 area public companies.

Block's headquarters will bring more than 1,200 employees to the district. More important, the company will generate taxes that can be diverted to support construction of parking garages and other public amenities. This reimbursement could come through tax increment financing and the Missouri Downtown and Rural Economic Stimulus Act, better known as Modesa.

TIF appropriates local taxes. Modesa appropriates state taxes.

Before Modesa can be used in Kansas City, however, the City Council must set boundaries for the area that will qualify for its benefits.

The measure has stalled in the council's Planning, Zoning & Economic Development Committee.

Councilwoman Bonnie Sue Cooper, a member of the committee, opposes attempts to extend the boundaries beyond the area ringed by the Interstate highway loop around Downtown. If Modesa can be used as far south as 31st Street and as far east as Cleveland Avenue, Cooper has said, she wants it to include parts of the Northland that she represents.

Committee hearings that began in November are to continue in January.

Also to be determined is the membership of a board that will consider Modesa financing requests. Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes will need to appoint the board because the Greater Downtown Development Authority she established in January 2002 to lobby for Modesa includes developers who could benefit from the act.

This roster includes Tom McDonnell, CEO of DST Systems Inc., whom Barnes named as co-chairman of the authority with her.

REACH JIM DAVIS at 816-421-5900 or [email protected]

[email protected]---------------

The news was announced at a press conference at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Crown Center. It was announced at 2:30pm

More articles at:

Coming with H&R Block might be a large project by Cordish out of Baltimore called "Kansas City Live!"

Details are here:

Also from other sources, Overland Park, a local suburb where many businesses are located like Sprint was competing for H&R Block.

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