Manhattan received $41 million State and Tax and Revenue (STAR) bonds from the State of Kansas and the Department of Commerce in 2006. The total amount of the STAR bonds reached $50 million by 2009 due to updated estimates and costs. Those bonds were used to pay for the construction of the Flint Hills Discovery Center and assist in land acquisition, public infrastructure, streetscape, landscape and public park improvements in the South End.
STAR bonds are a financing mechanism that allows a city’s portion of state sales tax from a designated district to be used to pay off the bonds. STAR bonds are generally used to finance redevelopment projects with a minimum $50 million capital investment and $50 million projected sales, or for a major commercial entertainment and tourism area that would be of regional or statewide importance. A major component for Manhattan receiving the bonds was the “attraction” element of the proposed South End.