Gladstone officials hope new development will change city's imag - KCTV5

Gladstone officials hope new development will change city's image

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There's plenty of construction in Linden Square in downtown Gladstone and city officials hope a new development announced Tuesday will help change the city's image.

Gladstone Mayor Carol Suter wants to change the thoughts of North Oak Trafficway being run down. The city is starting with Linden Square and its newest development, The Heights.

"It's a four-story self-contained apartment building with 10,000 square feet of retail and 222 units," said Ryan Cronk with Flaherty and Collins.

Cronk said he'll bring urban living into the suburbs.

"When I first called them, we had no idea what was going on in Gladstone," he said.

The project is funded by $25 million in chapter 100 bonds - which the city issues - then bought by the developer. Flaherty and Collins also makes a $600,000 payment in lieu of taxes. Gladstone won't collect any property taxes for 25 years, but the city projects $100 million in economic impact over 20 years.

"It's an interesting funding for us because there's no risk to the city," Suter said. "The property is the city's right now. We've owned it for quite some time, so it's not on the tax rolls right now, so it wouldn't be coming off because of this transaction."

Cronk said similar developments in other cities typically draw 25- to 35-year-old young professional tenants.

"It's luxury apartments, so it's going to be people with disposable income," Suter said.

It's income the mayor hopes will flow into the surrounding businesses.

"This project will be a magnet to bring people and opportunities. If they want to serve the kind of people that will live here, they'll have to be higher quality, sharper and cooler," she said.

She says if Gladstone hopes to thrive, it will need projects like The Heights development.

"What we need is the next generation to experience the new Gladstone in a way that makes them want to invest and stay," Suter said.

The developer hopes to start construction this summer and have the first apartments ready for residents by next summer.

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