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Thu, Feb. 27

Community View | Keep Kingman moving in the right direction

In this file photo, Bill Lenhart, managing member of Sunbelt Development and Realty Partners, points to a layout for the Rancho Santa Fe Parkway and Interchange, which is critical to his proposed 700-acre mixed-use development that would start with 1.1 million square feet of industrial warehouse. (Daily Miner file photo)

In this file photo, Bill Lenhart, managing member of Sunbelt Development and Realty Partners, points to a layout for the Rancho Santa Fe Parkway and Interchange, which is critical to his proposed 700-acre mixed-use development that would start with 1.1 million square feet of industrial warehouse. (Daily Miner file photo)

There have recently been a lot of negative comments on The Daily Miner Opinion page about Sunbelt, a Las Vegas developer who has come to Kingman with “evil intentions” to invest in Kingman and possibly make a profit from his investments. Just to set the record straight, how about some facts?

The owner of Sunbelt is Bill Lenhart, and although his office is in Las Vegas, he has family ties and roots in Kingman since 1984 when his grandparents retired here and his father ran an automotive repair business on Butler Avenue in a building that Lenhart owned.

Since 2007, Mr. Lenhart has purchased 27 parcels of land in multiple acquisitions within the Kingman city limits with the intent to develop, and that is his intention still. He has not sold a single parcel of this land, but he has pledged to the City of Kingman City Manager to donate 20 acres of his most valuable land, which the city will develop into a soccer complex. In addition, he has pledged to donate 4 acres for a fire station, training facility and satellite police substation. Mr. Lenhart’s contribution to the City is without conditions.

Sunbelt is planning a 1,000-plus acre mixed-use development that will provide hundreds of high paying, skilled jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in reoccurring tax revenue to the City, state, county, school districts and other taxing entities. To date, Sunbelt has invested over $15 million in Kingman from the profits of successful projects in Nevada, and they will need to invest another $30 million to begin Phase I of their project, all before realizing a single dollar in profit.

What other developer can you name that has made similar contributions for public parks, police and fire stations? What other developer can you name that believes in Kingman so much that they are willing to risk such a large sum on a project that will take 10 to 15 years to develop that will create reoccurring tax revenue for Kingman for many decades to follow?

What have the local developers or big-ticket merchants done for Kingman lately? We’ve all heard their unfounded fear mongering rhetoric intended to create an outcome that serves them at the expense of the good citizens of Kingman. What about the largest homebuilder in Kingman that has the benefit of operating in a market environment with very little competition; what have they done for the citizens of Kingman recently? What about Kingman Regional Medical Center with their Kingman Crossing proposal? Will their 140 acre development not require an “evil” out of town developer? Why has it taken them since March 2018 to come up with a development agreement with the City that the public has still not seen? Mr. Lenhart’s company is ready to advance on their project now.

Sure, Mr. Lenhart has an interest in advancing the City’s plan for the East Kingman I-11 Connection project. It will greatly improve access to thousands of acres of currently baron land … land that will remain baron until the East Kingman I-11 Connection project is constructed. Yes, his company will benefit when the Rancho Santa Fe Parkway is connected to the new I-11 exit at Rancho Santa Fe, but so will all the other Kingman residents who own the remaining 4000-plus acres in the area. However, these landowners will benefit far less than the City of Kingman and its citizens. The tax revenues from Mr. Lenhart’s project alone will generate more tax revenue to the City in the next 25 years than the cost of the off-ramps and parkway combined.

The only obstacle that currently stands in the way of Kingman’s Bright Future is Proposition 413, which would repeal the one-half percent TPT, sales tax, dedicated to capital projects. Please vote “no” on Proposition 413 and keep Kingman moving in the right direction toward its bright future.

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