Zona Rosa facing financial problems, county leaders say taxpayer - KCTV5

Zona Rosa facing financial problems, county leaders say taxpayer dollars are at risk

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Rudy Harper/KCTV5 Rudy Harper/KCTV5
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Zona Rosa may be in trouble. 

As the popularity of online shopping skyrockets, fewer people are going to brick-and-mortar stores. 

It's only 59 percent leased and if you walk around, you'll see many stores with blacked out windows and only sunshine as light. 

Now, county leaders say taxpayer dollars are at risk. 

For more than 10 years, Zona Rosa has defaulted on its bond payment of around $2.5 million.

A one percent sales tax collected by the developer was intended to pay the loan but has not generated enough funds and in 2007, the County Commissioners agreed to back loan.

“I still don’t understand how a county commission, three people were here and made this decision," said Platte County Commissioner Ron Schieber, who was not on the board at the time. 

Schieber says last year, the shopping center faced a shortfall of $500,000. That forced the commission to move $1 million into a reserve account, with $700,000 possibly being used to cover the loan. 

“I can’t imagine voters would have ever said, yes, county we would love to go on the hook for parking garages for an East Coast developer," Schieber said. 

Zona Rosa is owned by a New York company called Olshan. They are in “ongoing discussions” with the lender and the county, public documents state online. 

However, the company refused comment this week. 

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