Posts Tagged ‘King Louie’

Since the approval and signing of the Lease Agreement with UMB Bank to pay for the purchase and “button up” costs for the King Louie Building totaling $3,600,000 8788metcalfleaseagreement on February 9, 2012 the here until now question loomed.  How was the $2,900,000 Principal payment due on September 1, 2015 going to be paid?

Base Rentals

We must first ignore that when we hurriedly purchased King Louie in December 2011 with ca$h from Reserves we threatened our Bond Rating.  Less than two months later we leased King Louie to UMB Bank for ca$h returned to Reserves saving our Bond Rating.  Now let’s ignore for a brief moment that we have already paid $120,576 Interest Only for a vacant non-tax generating building with yet another $17,400 Interest Only due.  Let’s ignore for another brief moment that this vacant non-tax generating building consumed several hundred hours of County Staff time and tens of thousands more dollars in consultant fees to find this once asbestos laden building a purpose. We still end up with the lingering question…………….

How was the $2,900,000 Principal payment due on September 1, 2015 going to be paid?

Earlier today June 4, 2015 King Louie shared the answer with us peasants.


NO JOKE FOLKS vote scheduled for June 11, 2015 67574906042015101756410

June 11, 2015

Safe to say that the “Court Jester” positions have been filled.

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”

Ken Dunwoody                                        GOD
Henpecked Acres                                       
One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062

Read Full Post »

On February 26, 2015 our Johnson County Board of County Commissioners will view the latest proposal to make King Louie a purdier pig. This make-over presentation only cost $150,000 that the Commissioners said was old money, already approved money, saved up to move the old moldy museum sometime long ago money. Funny no one asked how to pay for moving the museum if that money was spent finding a place to move it. Duh? Oh well, simple solution. Give the museum its own taxing authority and call it a park! More like a Merry-go-round cuz it seems we are going in circles.

Here is the $150,000 lipstick King_Wrecks all 62 pages. Mostly pictures so even our Commissioners can participate. But here is only little tidbit White HavenNext Steps

This is where it really gets neat (nutty can be neat). Merge the museum into the Parks and Wreck District so that both functions can administratively work under the direction of that District in a building they are not responsible for so that the county can sell $22,000,000 Bonds to pay for the renovations necessary while not affecting the District’s ability to also sell an additional $22,000,000 Bonds to pay for more parks only separated by new voting booths no one asked for while children play a sketch inside a building that has asbestos remembering when someone stayed at a hotel before bowling on an ice rink. Wasn’t that simple.

Degrees of separation between DC and JC is immeasurable. Stupid is as stupid does (when it is someone elses money).

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”
Ken Dunwoody                                          GOD
Henpecked Acres                                         
One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062

Read Full Post »


County advances $22M plan to repurpose King Louie building

Jan 8, 2015, 3:06pm CST

Is Johnson County government’s plan to repurpose the 1960s King Louie West building at 8788 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park a wise use of taxpayer dollars or a $22 million boondoggle?

Rob Roberts
Reporter- Kansas City Business Journal

Is Johnson County government’s plan to repurpose the 1960s King Louie West building at 8788 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park a wise use of taxpayer dollars or a $22 million boondoggle?

The Board of County Commissioners remains split on the question.

That was evidenced Thursday, when the board voted 4-3 to spend $150,000 to further develop the proposed reuse concept for the 70,000-square-foot building — a former bowling alley and ice rink that has stood vacant since 2009.

Current plans call for repurposing the building, known for its Space Age-inspired Googie architecture, as the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center. It would house new locations for the Johnson County Museum and 1950s All-Electric House, currently located in Shawnee; county parks and recreation district facilities, including an indoor site for year-round Theatre in the Park productions; and spaces for advance voting, arts programming and community gatherings.

County commissioners had different plans for the King Louie building in late 2011, when they voted to buy it for $1.95 million and spend another $1.65 million on remediation and weatherization.

Those expenditures were spurred largely by water infiltration and mold issues at the 1927 building at 6305 Lackman that houses the Johnson County Museum, which is a historical museum. Joe Waters, the county’s director of facilities, said the problems began in 2001 and had escalated by 2009, when commissioners voted to search for a new location for the museum.

At that time, Waters added, county officials were exploring the possibility of co-locating the historical museum with a National Museum of Suburbia. But that plan was dropped after a fundraising effort for the national attraction failed to get off the ground.

“The Museum of Suburbia was a bust, and it looked like that was driving a lot of this,” Commissioner John Toplikar said Thursday. “The (King Louie) building became a space in search of a cause after the Museum of Suburbia was gone. … I just don’t see this as a need at this point.”

Toplikar, who joined commissioners Jason Osterhaus and Michael Ashcraft in voting against the $150,000 concept study, noted that Thursday’s vote was a precursor to one planned for next month on the overall $22.23 million plan.

Critics of the proposed Arts & Heritage Center plan have stated the county should cut its losses on the property at the $3.6 million already spent. They point to a recent appraisal of the property by Valbridge Property Advisors that estimates the value of the site at only $850,000 — or $1.25 million for the land minus $400,000 for demolition — because the building has outlived its useful life.

But according to Waters, that opinion referred to the potential for continued use of the building as an indoor family entertainment business.

Commission Chairman Ed Eilert, who supports redevelopment of the building, noted that engineering studies performed on it before the county’s purchase indicated that there were no structural deficiencies.

While the building’s high ceilings and wide spans might make it difficult to redevelop for standard office or other commercial uses, Waters added, it works well for the proposed museum and other uses.

In response to claims that the county overpaid for the building, Waters said it paid about $6.50 a foot when structures of comparable square footage were selling for $6 to $16 a square foot.
“We feel the value that property has, with the building, is about 25 to 40 percent greater than what we have in it today,” Waters added.

He said the total $22.23 million project cost is also a bargain. Previously, Waters explained, the county estimated it would cost $28 million to $29 million to build a new facility of roughly the same size for the museum and other uses.

Commissioner Jim Allen moved for approval of the $150,000 expenditure after voicing his opinion that the board had acted as good stewards of taxpayer dollars in relation to the property.
Joining Allen in voting for the motion were Eilert, Ed Peterson and Steven Klika. (Peterson, who ran for the county chair and lost, will be replaced as a board member by Ron Shaffer before the next vote.)

If the board votes to proceed with the project next month, construction could begin in February 2016, with a grand opening following in April 2017.

Rob reports on real estate and development.
Related links: Arts, Politics, Public sector
Industries: Commercial Real Estate

Read Full Post »

Doubling down on a bad buy

01/06/2015 1:27 PM

01/06/2015 1:27 PM

County officials must be counting on a winning lottery ticket in the next few years. That’s the only logical explanation for why the Johnson County Commission has agreed to move forward on a $22 million plan to renovate King Louie, a former bowling alley and ice rink in Overland Park.

The building itself, which county staff called, “iconic,” is worth less than the land it sits upon. Too bad no one mentioned that fact four years ago when commissioners agreed to spend $1.6 million to purchase King Louie or when they agreed to spend an additional $2 million to keep it from falling to the ground.
This December, county manager Hannes Zacharias said selling the property now would net less than $1 million after knocking it down. They had no specific plans for the space when they forked over the cash. Apparently, they believed they could never have too many failing buildings gathering dust on the books.
Now, county staff has announced grand plans for King Louie. Many of the officials advocating to spend $22 million on a worthless building are the same ones who said the county couldn’t pass up a great bargain like King Louie.
I’m not sure taxpayers should be buying anything these experts are selling. Unfortunately, the county commissioners appear ready to double down on their terrible purchase.
At a Dec. 18 meeting, four of seven commissioners granted county staff permission to move forward with the King Louie scheme. For $22 million, the building would be turned into a county arts and heritage center, house the Johnson County Museum and establish a permanent advanced voting location.
County staff listed a variety of laughable reasons why the building improvements should be funded. First, the county doesn’t have an arts or cultural center.
Staff failed to mention that the county does, in fact, regularly spend money on the arts. It maintains a public arts program that commits 1 percent of new building costs to purchasing art.
Meanwhile, county staff said the museum has mold and the hallways are too narrow. Both of those problems could be easily resolved with far less than $22 million. About one-third of King Louie would be used for the museum.
Another third of the dilapidated building would be used for a theater and parks programming, all under the direction of the county parks and recreation board. All but one member of that body recommended approval of the renovations.
Jill Gellar, executive director of the Johnson County Parks and Recreation District, told county commissioners that if the county handed them a check for $22 million, they would not use it for King Louie renovations. Instead, they would use it to develop existing parks space. So, the parks board doesn’t need King Louie, but they’ll take a free building.
At this point, the county wouldn’t even require that the board pay rent for King Louie programming. Nothing free is ever really free. I can envision a time when county staff use access to King Louie as a bargaining chip.
The King Louie project isn’t a bargain. It’s an insanity the county cannot afford.
In June, Zacharias proposed a county budget that included a tax rate increase, despite an increase in revenue generated from rising property values. Most property in Johnson County, King Louie excluded, increased in value last year, adding $10.3 million in county revenue.
Members of the commission vocally opposed a change in state law that they said stripped them of valuable revenue from mortgage tax registration fees, and Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning threatened to take the county commission to court if they didn’t agree to fund his department to the tune of an extra 40 deputies.
Johnson County government isn’t swimming in cash.
The commission managed to add sheriff’s staff, though not in the way Denning requested, and maintain its existing tax rates in the 2015 budget. That required a “fair amount of magic to make those numbers work,” Commissioner Michael Ashcraft said when he wisely voted against moving forward on the King Louie proposal.
“That magic is going to be doubling down next year even without this,” he said.
Freelance columnist Danedri Herbert writes in this space once a month.

Read Full Post »

King Louie is worth less than 25 percent of what Johnson County has invested in it

click to enlargeIMG_8993.jpgJohnson County tries once more to save King Louie.

Let’s say you buy a house, a fixer-upper. You know it’s going to take some money to get it in shape, but you end up spending close to the purchase price. But now it’s a dream home, right?

Now let’s say, after all that money and time, your property is worth about a quarter of your investment.

That’s one way of looking at Johnson County’s purchase of the King Louie building, at 8788 Metcalf, in Overland Park.

The Johnson County leaders who pushed to make the buy were bullish on the idea that this dilapidated former bowling alley and ice rink could be refitted to become a major attraction. They wanted to move the Johnson County Museum here from its flood-prone little building in Shawnee. The plan was to make it into a national homage to suburban life.

The county bought King Louie at the tail end of 2011, for $1.95 million. That price included the building and the surrounding land. The county then spent another $1.6 million to seal off the interior from the elements, get rid of asbestos and remove lead paint.

Today, the building still sits empty, due in part to political headwinds that still swirl around the decision to buy a building without a clear use, at a time when the lingering effects of a recession were still cramping county services.

Almost a year ago, county commissioners considered selling the building, after there weren’t enough votes to issue bonds that would have funded its renovation. As part of that consideration, the county ordered an appraisal, which came back in August 2014 but has gone uncirculated since.

That appraisal pegs the property’s open-market value at $850,000.

Valbridge Property Advisors judged the property’s worth after assuming the demolition of the ski-chalet-style building. The appraisal said the best and most profitable use for the property would be to build new residences on the nearly 6 acres of land.

So the county got a lousy deal on King Louie? Depends on whom you ask.

“I think it’s a matter of perspective,” says Olathe Commissioner Michael Ashcraft, a longtime critic of the King Louie acquisition. “I have had reservations about expenditures all along. You would have to have a grand debate on that.”

The county did not order an appraisal when it bought King Louie. Instead, it consulted with a real-estate broker.

Joe Waters, director of facilities for Johnson County, tells The Pitch that it’s not typical for the county to get an appraisal before purchasing a building.

“The assessment that was done by the real-estate broker, who was conducting the search for us and advised us on that purchase at the time, concluded that it [$1.95 million] was a very good price,” Waters says.

Ed Eilert, chairman of the Board of County Commissioners and a steady advocate for the King Louie purchase, agrees.

“If we were to be redeveloping and the building scraped off, that’s that anticipated value [$850,000] we would be looking at,” Eilert said at a December board meeting. “For our purposes, the building is significant and important and was a reasonable purchase.”

The appraisal notes that interested buyers other than the county balked at trying to reuse the existing structure, citing its atypical design and its outdated architecture. Those elements, the appraisal says, make it impossible to readapt the facility for indoor sports.

Photos in the report show standing water on the floors, and the appraisal also notes the presence of broken roof drains that leak water underground and the existence of mold in some of the restrooms.

Still, some county leaders remain optimistic that King Louie’s structure — fashioned after Googie architecture that was popular for a time after World War II but faded in the late 1960s — can be saved. The latest proposal for doing that involves a Johnson County Parks & Recreation theater and another arts-related space inside the building. That proposal also still includes the Johnson County Museum, as well as an advance-voting site. (The Enterprise Center, a county-supported business incubator once considered a King Louie tenant, is out of the mix.)

Advance voting, which had previously taken place at Metcalf South Mall, a few blocks south of King Louie, has been hailed as one of the foremost reasons to remodel the building. It was the first thing that County Manager Hannes Zacharias mentioned when presenting that latest proposal.

But Johnson County Election Commissioner Brian Newby says installing advance voting inside King Louie would be, at most, a minor help for his department. And he tells The Pitch that he was first told of the idea to put advance voting in King Louie roughly an hour before the Board of County Commissioners was first publicly told of the idea to buy the building, in 2011.

“It wasn’t like anyone consulted with me back in the day,” Newby says. (Or later, for that matter. Newby wasn’t invited to speak during December’s board meeting, when the newest King Louie idea went before commissioners.)

Advance-voting locations have typically been pop-up leases around the county when elections draw near, similar to the seasonal Halloween shops that ink short-term tenancies in strip malls every autumn. Newby says moving one advance-voting location to a permanent spot would save him the hassle of negotiating another lease (and about $25,000 a year). But he would still have to find leases for as many as three other stations.

Zacharias told commissioners that the latest idea would give Johnson County a true arts culture that’s lacking in the metro’s wealthiest county. He pointed out that other places in Kansas have had arts centers for years. “Manhattan, Lawrence, Salina — Hays, for heaven’ sakes,” he said.

But dreams come at a cost. County staffers project that getting King Louie ready for this newest idea would cost $22 million, a figure that includes the sunk costs of the building’s acquisition and early remediation. The county would issue bonds to finance the project, which means that it would pay $1.5 million in debt service annually for 20 years — growing Johnson County’s overall cost to $30 million.

The proposal goes back to the commissioners for a final vote as early as February. King Louie has split the board the past two years, with a one-vote majority nixing any more money spent on the building.

Steve Klika, an Overland Park commissioner who has been vocally skeptical in the past, is a swing vote on the project, having signaled that he’s warming to this newest plan.

Ashcraft still seems unconvinced by the heft of King Louie’s financial obligation, particularly given other ways that he says the county could spend taxpayer money.

“Quite honestly, I look at all the needs our community has, and while I respect their effort and presentations, I think $1.5 million [in annual debt service] can be spent much more effectively and have a much more significant impact on core services that we should be doing, that we should be considering, but we don’t,” Ashcraft says.

Read Full Post »

The King Louie Appraisal 201408FormerKingLouieAppraisalReportwithPIV  made public by us, raised many questions. Some have previously been answered and posted. Today we share our conclusions about the delay from April availability and December disclosure starts here:

From: Kdunwoody2@aol.com
To: Cynthia.Dunham@jocogov.org
CC: Michael.Ashcraft@jocogov.org
Sent: 12/28/2014 10:56:43 P.M. Central Standard Time
Subj: Re: Kansas Open Records Act Requests
Thank you for your response. Please expand KORA to include the following:
1) Document authorizing Appraisal.
2) Billing document(s) for Appraisal.
3) Document notifying one or more BOCC of Appraisal availability.
4) Document that authorizes BOCC liaison to Parks & Rec Commission to vote as the 8th P&R member.
5) Document that allows BOCC liaison to vote as P&R and BOCC member on same issue.
Trusting you and family had a safe and joyous Christmas.
Ken Dunwoody

Authorization to perform the Appraisal occurred in March 2014 NOTICETOPROCEEDemailsPart1

Following the receipt of the completed Appraisal in April 2014 and acknowledging now identified structural problems, the County authorized a second appraisal using a different approach in May 2014  NOTICETOPROCEEDemailsPart2 . NOlathe notes that between the first and second approach there was no difference in either the structural status or value.

Invoices Invoice(Partial)ValbridgeAppraisalof8788Metcalf and Invoicedated8-29-2014ValbridgeAppraisalof8788Metcalf

We have clearly identified that the County had this information in April 2014. Now view this one minute introduction on December 18, 2014 by the County Manager (voice only).

Even though the Appraisal was a public document and KORA accessible since April, knowledge of its existence was not known until December. Why? Answer- November 4, 2014 King Louie was an election issue.  With the why, when and what answered, let’s look at who.

Commissioners Toplikar, Allen and Klika were not on the ballot.  Toplikar   Allen    Klika

Commissioners Ashcraft and Osterhaus have long standing positions against King Louie.  Ashcraft    Osterhaus

Commissioner Peterson lost primary in August 2014.  Peterson then instructed County Manager in November to proceed with project and make it public knowledge.

7-6= Commission Chairperson Eilert

Boy were we surprised!

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”
Ken Dunwoody                             GOD
Henpecked Acres                          One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062


Read Full Post »

November 2011– During two consecutive Johnson County Board of Commissioners Meetings, the Board approved on a 6-1 vote to purchase the King Louie building for $2,000,000 and make it weather tight with an additional $1,600,000.  Although denied later, the intent was to house a “National Museum of Suburbia” after additional commitments totalling $40,000,000 could be identified.  The immediacy of completing the transaction before year-end was for tax purposes of the then current owner.

December 2011– The then current owner used the Purchase Agreement as a bankable note to barrow enough money to retire an existing lien against the property. With a clear Title, the transaction was finalized.

January 2012– Board notified that having used cash reserves for the purchase and plans for using cash reserves for restoration would jeopardize Bond Rating. County leases property to a bank for $3,600,000 and then leases the property back from that bank with repayments scheduled through 2015.

Public unrest through-out 2012 culminates in November election of Steve Klika to Board of Commissioners vowing not to support further funding of the property.

During 2013 and 2014 displayed Commissioners Eilert, Peterson and Allen (former mayors) in support of additional funding with Ashcraft, Klika, Osterhaus and Toplikar remaining opposed. Rumors abound that Chairman Eilert would resurrect his iconic dream in 2015 when he had the votes.

But Ashcraft and Osterhaus were re-elected in November 2014.  The vote remained 3-4.  That left Toplikar and/or Klika to change their position in order to fund King Louie.

Then this repackaged funding for King Louie kinglouie12.18.14 appears for discussion. BINGO! The vote was actually taken last week! Commissioner Klika’s passion is mass transit.  Chairman Eilert fast tracked approval of Klika’s passion last week and tomorrow is pay back time.

December 18, 2014 Committee of the Whole vote to fully fund King Louie 4-3.

Incredibly we also learned that our $3,600,000 investment is currently only valued at $850,000 so we should trust that they now know what they’re doing?

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”
Ken Dunwoody                               GOD
Henpecked Acres                           One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »