Jerry D. Riffel

Jerry Riffel focuses his practice on real estate and development matters. He has a broad background and experience in economic development incentives, Chapter 353 (Urban Redevelopment), land clearance, special business districts, Tax Increment Financing, and all aspects of land use planning. Jerry's most notable clients include: 3-D Development, Metropolitan Kansas City Performing Arts Center, National Association of Basketball Coaches, Bayer Crop Science, L.P., Bally's Gaming Corporation, Newmark Zimmer Companies, Emprise Bank, Sobel Development Corporation, and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority.

Representative engagements where Jerry has served as the principal attorney include the following:

  • Metropolitan Kansas City Performing Arts Center. Representation of the Metropolitan Kansas City Performing Arts Center in the development of its $320 million state-of-the-art performing arts center in downtown Kansas City. The Performing Arts Center houses the three largest performing arts institutions in Greater Kansas City - the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, the Kansas City Ballet and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Representation included negotiation of a Tax Credits for Contribution package with the Missouri Development Finance Board, resulting in the issuance of Tax Credits in the amount of $25 million. The representation also included negotiation of all conditions of the City of Kansas City’s financing of a 2,000-space underground public parking garage to be used by the Performing Arts Center with a public park above the facility.
  • KC Civic Ventures LLC/South Loop Link Development. Representation of Civic Ventures, LLC on the funding and development of the South Loop Project, to be located above I-670 between Kansas City's Convention District and its Power & Light neighborhood. This $225 million project provides a connection between the City's Crossroads and Central Business District neighborhoods. The project implements a collaborative plan conceived by the Downtown Council, the City and Port KC to unite these two important downtown areas with a park deck; to be created by placing a "lid" over the four-block span above the interstate. The representation includes the negotiation of and application for Missouri Contribution Tax Credits and implementation of various contractual and development initiatives. The plan also includes an economic development initiative for thirteen targeted sites adjoining the Project. The funding to date includes $28.6 million from the Federal government, $28.6 million from the State of Missouri and $20 million from the private sector. Substantial other private and public commitments are still pending. 
  • Emprise Bank Headquarters. Representation of Emprise Bank of Wichita, Kansas, on its location and construction of its Missouri headquarters at 120 E. 20th Street in Kansas City, Missouri, The representation includes the acquisition of the headquarters site and all aspects of the construction of an adjoining half-block area in the Crossroads neighborhood in downtown Kansas City. The project is progressing and the City Council of Kansas City is considering the recommendation of its Neighborhood Planning and Development Committee to implement a Development Plan sponsored by the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority. The headquarters and development site will soon be acquired by the Bank and the design of the Bank headquarters is underway.
  • Union Station Kansas City. Representation of Union Station Kansas City, Inc. on the planning and development of its Phase II Project. The project included substantial new infrastructure parking improvements and the expansion of its Science City facilities. The legal services provided concerned development, construction and funding of the project from the State of Missouri, the City of Kansas City, and philanthropic foundations and individuals.
  • Union Hill TIF. Representation of the Developer in the Union Hill area of Kansas City, Missouri, on a mixed-use project that included office, housing and hotel developments. The construction of infrastructure and acquisition of blighted property was financed by a bond issue of the Tax Increment Financing Commission based upon PILOTS generated by the general neighborhood and a Super TIF approved by the City on a hotel on Main Street. Significant benefits would have been lost to the developer if the approval had not been secured in a timely fashion. Our representation was critical to several public-private partnerships and the assistance of Kansas City's large business corporate community played a vital role in the success of the project.
  • Hearst-Argyle Stations, Inc. Representation of Hearst-Argyle in the development of a headquarters building and broadcasting facilities for KMBC-TV in Kansas City that included acquisition of headquarters site, negotiation of state and local incentives, preparation of construction and development agreements, land use decisions and business association covenants and restrictions.
  • Bayer CropScience, L.P. Representation of Bayer CropScience in the development of its $40 million alzol-fungicide facility. The project was developed and financed in accordance with Missouri’s Chapter 100 abatement program and involved negotiation of property tax exemption and payments in-lieu-of taxes, industrial revenue bond documents and negotiation of a Grant Agreement with the Kansas City, Missouri School District. Project was also developed with assistance of Development Tax Credits and involved negotiation with the Missouri Department of Economic Development, preparation of application and related documents.


  • Speaker on land use and real estate subjects for local Bar and University programs

News Releases

Professional Affiliations

  • University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, Adjunct Professor of Urban Law

Community Involvement

  • City of Kansas City, Missouri, Past Council Member, Fourth District
  • Downtown Council of Kansas City, Board of Directors, 1999 - Present; Chair, 2019; Business Retention and Expansion Committee, Chair, 2005-2011; Executive Committee, 2005-2024
  • Downtown Council Political Action Committee, Executive Committee, 2016-2024; President, 2023
  • Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City
  • Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors; Downtown Council, Chair
  • Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial


  • Missouri Lawyers Media, "ICON Award," 2024
  • Selected among The Best Lawyers in America®, 2007-2024
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Missouri Real Estate, 2004-2024
  • Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers, 2005-2015
  • The Kansas City Business Journal, "Best of the Bar," 2003-2004
  • Martindale-Hubbell® "AV" Rating
Photo of Jerry D. Riffel
F: 816.292.2001


Trish Doran

Court Memberships

  • Missouri


University of Kansas School of Law, J.D.

University of Kansas, B.A., Political Science