CityPlace, a major project in Overland Park that its developer likens to a city of its own, will start welcoming tenants to its first apartment tower on Dec. 9.
About 50 apartments in a 205-unit tower will open to residents of CityPlace at the southwest corner of U.S. 69 and College Boulevard in Overland Park. Afterward, more units will become available roughly 30 days apart, followed by leasing of four smaller garden-style apartment buildings directly south of the tower structure.
The initial opening marks the early arrival of one of Overland Park’s largest developments. Initially imagined as a $350 million project, its developer now says the price tag is closer to $450 million.
The increase in overall costs isn’t attributable to growing labor and construction material costs, according to Ken Block, managing principal of CityPlace developer Block Real Estate Services. Instead, revised designs for CityPlace to accommodate denser development accounts for the new cost estimate.
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“In our case, the scope has expanded a little bit,” Block said. “What we’re doing in these future deals has changed in our minds. We’re going to have a higher rise, urban type of atmosphere to it, so that’s more expensive construction.”
CityPlace is one of the most ambitious developments in Overland Park. It’s located on 90 acres once considered in the 1980s for a massive development project called the Galleria, which never came to pass.
CityPlace was scheduled to come up before the Overland Park City Council on Monday for revisions to the development schedule. Some elements of the project, such as some of the office buildings, are being pushed back from the original construction and opening timeline. Others, including an $80 million, 390-unit apartment building with ground-level retail, is being moved ahead by two years to start construction in 2017.
“We pushed back our timetables a little bit to make sure we got our first project up and we are leasing with the level of activity and with the rental rates we think economically work,” Block said.
BK Properties, the affiliate of Block’s company developing CityPlace, sold the senior residential living community that was built and is close to opening.
Block’s revised timeline projects the start of a 120,000-square-foot office building in 2017. Block said he doesn’t have a tenant yet for the building, but said if a user leases at least 40,000 square feet, then he can probably begin construction.
“We’re talking to several tenants,” Block said. “A lot of it has to do with who commits. We won’t build that first building without a lead tenant.”
Block is building CityPlace in a strong office market in south Johnson County, a place where vacancy rates are generally the lowest in the region and the per-square-foot lease rates are the highest.
CityPlace plans call for three more office buildings, two of which would be six stories in height.