Downtown loft owner warns streetcars would raise rent rates - KCTV5

Downtown loft owner warns streetcars would raise rent rates

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Residents of the Old Townley Lofts in downtown Kansas City are being urged to vote against a proposal to build a streetcar line.

Other loft residents are getting similar letters. They are being told that their rental rates will go up if Mayor Sly James and the Kansas City Council's plan is approved.

The letters did not say how much rates would go up.

The unusual mail-in ballot election will be held later this summer on whether to create a special downtown streetcar taxing district. The city is trying to build a $100 million streetcar line.

Ballots must arrive by July 31. It is too late to ask for a ballot. Only a few hundred people requested ballots.

"We encourage residents to attend public meetings, become involved, gain knowledge and suggest voting against the current proposed Kansas City downtown streetcar project," according to the letter given to loft residents.

Loft resident Shelly Evans said she is supporting the plan. She believes it would be good for Kansas City, including bringing more retail opportunities to downtown.

The council on Thursday voted to spend an additional $1.3 million to study the plan, which would impose a sales tax and increased property taxes along a two-mile route.

If voters approve creation of the district, a separate election would be held on imposing the taxes.

To read more coverage on this issue by KCTV5's reporting partner, the Kansas City Star, click here.

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