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IRS Decides to move downtown

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- An agreement has been reached to build a new $370 million Internal Revenue Service Center that will bring 6,000 jobs to downtown Kansas City, Sen. Kit Bond said Thursday.

Bond said the General Services Administration and DST Realty have agreed in principle on all major business terms and conditions needed to build the IRS center at the 70-year-old post office building. Plans also call for construction of three office annexes on 27.5 acres of land next to the post office building.

Postal operations would move to nearby Union Station.

The project also includes a 1,500-space parking garage, a 25,000-square-foot day-care center and a pedestrian overpass that will link Union Station with nearby restaurants, offices and art galleries.

When completed, the center could bring 4,000 permanent and 2,000 seasonal IRS jobs to the site from seven locations throughout the metropolitan area, Bond said.

Bond, who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Housing, Veterans and Independent Agencies, said the project will bring "a huge infusion" of private investment money into downtown Kansas City.

"The (Economic Development Commission) of Kansas City estimates this project will have a $4 billion impact on the local economy," Bond said. "We are revitalizing a major segment of downtown Kansas City."

The project will be done in phases, with a final completion date of January 2007. according to state figures. The developer would contribute $30.5 million in equity and borrow $214 million. The state is expected to furnish historic tax credits of about $13.5 million.

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