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Kingman Crossing, Rancho Santa Fe interchange projects moving ahead

KINGMAN – Two of the three Interstate 40 traffic interchanges (TI’s) planned in Kingman drew comment during the June 18 City Council meeting. City Manager Tim Walsh reported that Kingman has notified its private sector partner for the Rancho Santa Fe TI that it has breached its Development Agreement (DA) with the city.

Walsh told council members that the City sent the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) a check for almost $48.3 million on June 6 for administration and construction of the Rancho Santa Fe TI. He said an invoice for nearly $14.4 million was sent the same day to KDP Manager, the Las Vegas-based company and Kingman project partner under the DA.

Walsh said KDP Manager did not comply with the requirement to reimburse the City within 10 days and that KDP Manager was notified on June 18 that it is in breach of its contractual financial obligation.

KDP Manager principals Bill Plise and Bill Lenhart have been embroiled in litigation and arbitration while fighting for control of the enterprise. A public relations specialist representing Plise said the battling Bills were attempting to resolve their business beef.

“We have entered into a settlement agreement in principle, and are currently working out the details,” their June 12 statement said. Neither of the Bills, nor their representatives, attended the Council meeting after the City extended invitation for them to provide an update of the status of KDP Manager and their overdue bill.

“They need to remedy that. They need to cure that immediately,” Walsh told Council members. “The contract allows a certain time frame for them to be able to remedy that.”

The Arizona State Transportation Board, during its June 21 meeting in Flagstaff, approved adding the Rancho Santa Fe TI to its five-year project and program list. Walsh said ADOT has indicated the project will be advertised for construction bids the second week of July.

The long-idle Kingman Regional Medical Center (KRMC) Kingman Crossing TI endeavor may be picking up steam. City retail recruiting consultant Kaleb Wilson didn’t provide details, but he told Council members that there are new conversations and dynamics in play regarding the Kingman Crossing.

Wilson said the KRMC project holds great promise for local retail development.

“When that starts, that’s really going to open you up,” Wilson said, while offering some advice. “I will say that anything around those development conversations should be prioritized at a high level for a number of reasons, both for retail and for multi-family housing, mixed use, all of it. I think it’s going to be a really interesting interchange in the future for Kingman and we look forward to it.”

Wilson said KRMC investment in the Kingman Crossing sets a benchmark for the Kingman market, and should inspire private sector confidence from lenders and developers to become involved in local economic and retail development.

“As of late we’ve been connecting new development partners to the conversation. We’re getting pretty far down the line with two of them,” Wilson aid. “Both are very well respected in the development world over the U.S., one of them a little larger than the other, and both have great access to capital.”