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Sprint Arena Dispute Heads To Court

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Officials from UMB Bank and Kansas City are headed to court following the several months of negotiations that went nowhere. The city is trying to acquire key property needed for the planned downtown Sprint Arena UMB Financial Corp. owns a drive-up branch on the corner of the planned six-acre site, and has not accepted any offer from the city to move it.

Kansas City officials said the city had to file a condemnation lawsuit against the bank in order to stay on schedule for constructing the 18,500- to 20,000-seat, $250 million arena. The project is supposed to be completed by spring of 2007.

According to reports in the Kansas City Star, the city has offered UMB close to $2.9 million for the section of property, including relocation costs, despite the county appraisal of the property at only $1.2 million.

Since public financing for the project was approved by Kansas City voters this past August, the city, along with DST Realty, has acquired 18 of the 26 parcels of land needed for the project, about 70 percent of the 6-acre site.

Once completed, the Sprint Center will replace the Kemper Arena as the city’s flagship venue. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers