Success Stories

Success Stories – Mulvihill & Hunter - MulvihillHunter, LLC

PROBLEM

Attorneys owned two office buildings ("properties") that were included in a gigantic proposed downtown redevelopment project that would give developer effective condemnation power to acquire their properties against their will. The project was strongly supported by two consecutive mayors, the vast majority of the City Council and a public vote.

SOLUTION

M & H effectively opposed the redevelopment plan until the proposed redevelopment area was ultimately split into separate developments. The properties of M & H clients were eliminated from all redevelopment plans and prior zoning was restored. M & H clients continue to practice law at their respective buildings and their properties are no longer immediately threatened by condemnation.

PROBLEM

Fortune 500 Company wanted to expand its corporate headquarters due to large acquisition and receive maximum tax benefits. Benefits of Tax Increment Financing were insignificant and "but for" test was question-able.

SOLUTION

Despite vigorous opposition from City development staff, M & H persuaded City Plan Commission and City Council to determine that expansion site ("property") was economically blighted and to approve Chapter 353 redevelopment plan for property that saved client more than $2,000,000 in property taxes.

PROBLEM

Vacancies were occurring in regional shopping mall due to new commercial developments in the vicinity. Owner was required to pay larger percentage of property taxes for the mall.

SOLUTION

Due to successful appeals, M & H obtained more than $2,000,000 in property tax relief for owner of the mall.

PROBLEM

Owner of major office buildings anticipated significant future vacancies due to relocation of existing tenants.

SOLUTION

M & H provided client with more than $10,000,000 in property tax savings during four-year period.

PROBLEM

State law classified real property with more than four residential rental units as commercial real property for property tax purposes. As a result, owners of apartment complexes were paying almost twice as much in property taxes as owners of residential rental properties with less than five units.

SOLUTION

Clients of M & H were convinced to convert their apartment complexes to condominium form of ownership even though the units would continue to be rented and not sold.

M & H contended that change to condominium ownership would result in reclassification of the apartment complexes to residential real property for property tax purposes and Missouri Supreme Court agreed. M & H clients saved millions of dollars in property taxes by converting their apartment complexes to condominium ownership. Annual property taxes for a large apartment complex were reduced from $650,000 to $350,000.

PROBLEM

Owners of well-maintained apartments were threatened by proposed city ordinance, actively supported by the Mayor that would impose an annual license fee on every residential rental unit. Those fees would fund a massive inspection department, which would continuously conduct random inspections of every residential unit. Owners of the major apartment complexes were preparing to fund an advertising campaign to defeat its passage and to ultimately challenge it in court.

SOLUTION

After being retained by the area association for major apartment owners and national real estate organizations, M & H helped the City Council committee and staff to re-direct their efforts toward slumlords. The proposed ordinance was not voted on by the City Council and it was removed from the docket when the Mayor left office.

PROBLEM

Owners of commercially zoned undeveloped land ("properties") were paying significant amounts in property taxes even though no revenues would be derived from properties in the immediate future.

SOLUTION

M & H obtained determinations from Assessors, Boards of Equalization and State Tax Commission that reclassified properties as agricultural real property and resulted in property tax savings of several million dollars.

PROBLEM

University and apartment owners were faced with substantial property tax increases due to improvements to residential rental property.

SOLUTION

M & H obtained deferred maintenance property tax abatement for clients from assessment officials which resulted in property tax savings in excess of $1,000,000.

M & H was the only law firm or property tax representative to obtain deferred maintenance property tax abatement for client in Kansas City area.

PROBLEM

Nationally known restaurant/bar wanted to open a franchise at a commercially zoned location ("property") that had twice been denied liquor license for prospective tenants. Property owner was not able to obtain the number of consents from neighboring property owners that were required by city ordinance and there were no "off-street" parking spaces for property.

SOLUTION

M & H convinced City Council to extend the west boundary of Downtown Business District so that property would be included and consents from other property owners would not be required. Board of Zoning Adjustment granted variance that eliminated "off-street" parking requirements and liquor license was obtained for property.

PROBLEM

Owner of successful restaurant ("property") in entertainment district had been denied liquor license on numerous occasions over a period of several years.

SOLUTION

Director of Liquor Control reversed his prior rulings and granted liquor license for property after M & H established at contested hearing that value of property owned by opponents would increase if liquor license was granted.

PROBLEM

Kansas City developers took control of Arizona office building complex to prevent foreclosure and bankruptcy. They were desperate to reduce operating expenses and maintain the property.

SOLUTION

M & H were retained to reduce the property tax burden. After a contested appeal process, M & H provided more than $750,000 in property tax savings for the project. Complex was then sold to pension fund.

PROBLEM

Due to mergers, acquisitions and a bad loan, New York branch of international bank acquired ownership of hotel with significant delinquent and current property taxes.

SOLUTION

M & H provided bank with more than $250,000 in property tax relief before the hotel was sold.

PROBLEM

Owner of a manufacturing plant was faced with significant property taxes even though much of his equipment was outdated and some was not in service. He was unable to obtain any relief from Assessor's Office on repeated occasions.

SOLUTION

M & H appealed the assessment of the equipment to State Tax Commission and obtained decision that reduced property tax by 650%.

PROBLEM

Owner of significant office building ("property") was notified by county officials that ten-year property tax abatement for property had ended and property was now subject to 100% taxation.

SOLUTION

State Tax Commission ruled in favor of M & H by rendering a decision that allowed for an additional year of tax abatement. That resulted in property tax savings that exceeded $860,000.

PROBLEM

Owner of closed movie theater ("property") wanted to rehabilitate the structure with historic tax credits and convert it to a venue for live entertainment and private parties. Property had no "off-street" parking spaces and neighborhood groups had vigorously and successfully opposed owner's contemplated use of property for more than two years.

SOLUTION

M & H obtained the necessary variances from Board of Zoning Adjustment so that the property could be rehabilitated despite strong opposition at hotly contested hearings. Property was magnificently restored and has hosted countless upscale events, concerts and private parties.

PROBLEM

Owner of highly successful neighborhood restaurant/bar ("property") wanted to enlarge seating capacity and provide patrons with an opportunity to enjoy good weather by adding a deck or patio to his establishment. City ordinance prevented expansion of liquor license premises toward the school to east of property (i.e., location of proposed deck or patio).

SOLUTION

M & H persuaded Board of Liquor and Amusement Control that client's proposal did not constitute an expansion toward the school because the exterior walls of the existing structure remained the same. Patrons now enjoy the new patio - weather permitting.

PROBLEM

Fraternal police organization had twice been denied property tax exemption for its headquarters ("property").

SOLUTION

M & H convinced State Tax Commission to rule that property was exempt from property taxes due to educational opportunities afforded to members at property. Headquarters was removed from tax roll.

PROBLEM

Expansion of the United States headquarters of an international religious organization was prevented due to current residential zoning of the proposed expansion site ("property") and adamant city staff opposition to any zoning change. Church counsel was advised that new structure could not be built on property.

SOLUTION

City Attorney issued a legal opinion to M & H that allowed construction of new building on property as an accessory use to headquarters. No zoning change was required, permits were issued and the new facility is currently occupied by the religious organization.

PROBLEM

Owner of several successful local restaurant/bars was unable to obtain necessary permits to open at a new location ("property") due to lack of "off-street" parking spaces.

SOLUTION

M & H persuaded Board of Zoning Adjustment to grant property 100% "off-street" parking space variance. New location became an "overnight" success.