A tax break is helping lure Sprint to Lee's Summit.
The company plans to put a billing support system and archives in the 142,000-square-foot Colt Technology building at Interstate 470 and Blue Parkway. The building eventually could house 50 to 100 workers.
"The Lee's Summit building fit the type of specifications we were looking for," said Laura Meyer, a Sprint spokeswoman. "We need a sturdy building, considering the type of data that will be located there."
On Thursday, the Lee's Summit City Council is expected to approve a plan to grant Sprint a 50 percent property tax abatement on the site for 10 years.
"Sprint will receive a $20 million abatement, but still will pay over $20 million to the various taxing jurisdictions," Meyer said.
Lee's Summit Finance Director Conrad Lamb said Sprint needed the tax break. "They're bringing in 10 times more equipment than most," he said. Sprint is expected to spend $700 million over 10 years on equipment at the site.
Under the proposal, the city will issue $350 million in taxable industrial development revenue bonds to pay for the building, renovations and equipment.
Lamb said Sprint would pay off the bonds until the company owned the building and equipment, as well as make payments to the city for 50 percent of what taxes would have been.
The Lee's Summit location will be a business support facility, housing building, data archiving and records.
"There will be some relocation, but the majority of it is from new growth," Meyer said. She said employees would be from Sprint's long-distance and PCS divisions.
The company plans to make $19 million worth of renovations to the building for occupancy this fall.
"People might question why we didn't just build our own building," Meyer said. "But we needed a building ASAP, and Lee's Summit could fit that time frame."
The Kansas City Star, Summer Harlow, April 2000.