An Indianapolis developer cleared the first bureaucratic hurdle Friday to his plan to build 661 new downtown apartments.

Jim Thomas of Cityscape Residential won approval from the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority to begin the process necessary to seek a tax abatement to help finance two projects totaling 386 apartments in the Quality Hill area and a 275-unit project proposed for Crossroads West near Southwest Boulevard and Interstate 35.

The developer will seek a 25-year abatement on the increased value of the improvements, 100 percent for 10 years and 50 percent for the remaining 15 years, to help finance the projects. The taxes currently generated by the properties would continue to be paid. The total cost of the investment is estimated at $125 million.

Though the expansion authority board is not expected to take up the request for incentives until early summer, the subject did come up at the meeting.

Thomas has developed apartments in downtown Indianapolis and Louisville, Ky., and is building apartments in the Prairiefire development in Overland Park. He said even with the property tax abatement, his proposed downtown projects will yield only 80 percent of the return compared with his other developments.

“I have zero doubt the final analysis from the consultant will prove our numbers,” he told board members.

Read the full article at The Kansas City Star.