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Springfield, MO

Bass Pro to receive $460K from Independence

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In a dispute over construction surcharge fees connected to a retail development outside of Kansas City, Bass Pro Outdoor World LLC will receive a court-ordered $460,519 from the city of Independence, according to a report today in The Examiner.

Springfield-based Bass Pro Shops anchors The Falls at Crackerneck Creek, a $170 million development in Independence, where city officials agreed to fund construction of Bass Pro’s Outdoor World store that opened in 2008.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Michael Manners this month ruled in favor of Bass Pro, saying the city is responsible to cover the new construction license surcharge fee on the store Bass Pro constructed with financing provided by the city, The Examiner said. Bass Pro officials brought the issue to the courts in August 2010, according to Missouri Case.net.
Independence city manager Robert Heacock told The Examiner the city hasn’t decided whether it would appeal the ruling.

The sum includes $38,889 for attorney fees and expenses. Springfield attorney Bryan Wade of Husch Blackwell LLP represented Bass Pro.

The deal structured in Independence is similar to others Bass Pro officials secured throughout the country in the mid-2000s. In Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Broken Arrow, Okla., the cities agreed to finance store construction, often more than $20 million, and serve as landlord in exchange for millions of dollars in sales tax receipts and millions of visitors annually. In the deals, Bass Pro promised store sales between $30 million and $50 million and 2 million visitors a year. The cities would receive between roughly 2 percent and 3.5 percent sales tax from the stores, usually set at a minimum of $1 million a year, and have a long-term tenant, often set at a 20-year term.

The original development agreement required Bass Pro to open a hotel by 2010, but the 150-room property has not materialized, according to the Kansas City Business Journal.
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